A news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) advises that a 31-year-old Mexican national being held at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, N.J., has tested positive for COVID-19.
The release goes on to note:
The individual has been quarantined and is receiving care. Consistent with CDC guidelines, those who have come in contact with the individual have been cohorted and are being monitored for symptoms. ICE is suspending intake at the facility until further information is available.
The release doesn’t specify whether the detainee is in the country illegally but the fact of his detention would seem strongly to suggest that’s the likelihood.
The announcement comes amid a debate over whether to seal the southern border altogether or free all of the estimated 37,000 immigrants in ICE detention centers or jails. The second option is one the Left is pushing for. In Nancy Pelosi’s coronavirus stimulus bill, for example, there were millions of dollars for the arts, zero dollars for border security.
In reaction to this latest development, Andrea Flores, deputy director of policy in the Equality Division at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has “said health experts have warned that detainees are ‘sitting ducks for the spread of the virus,'” according to The Hill.
Her reference appears to hark back to a report at northjersey.com advising that an officer at Bergen County Jail, where the Mexican national is being held, has also tested positive for COVID-19. But one question that is unanswered is who transmitted the virus to whom. Did the guard become ill after contact with the infected prisoner, or was the reverse true? It would certainly be helpful to know the answer.