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Twelve migrants have tested positive for coronavirus at a government-run shelter in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, the government announced on Friday. They were living at the Leona Vicario center, which houses 337 people and is one of the largest shelters along the border, and have now been placed under isolation to prevent further spread of the virus. People at the shelter have been locked in during the pandemic, as most have lost opportunities to work in the city. Many migrants in Ciudad Juarez have been sent there due to Trump’s Remain in Mexico Program after seeking asylum in the U.S. Reuters
In other national immigration news …
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Immigrant Businesses Hit in Minneapolis
Lake Street, a long corridor through Minneapolis that houses many immigrant-owned businesses, was hit hard by protests over the past few days in response to the death of George Floyd. Suad Hassan, a Somali immigrant, boarded up her store and posted a sign that said: “black owned – solidarity.” But Eduardo Barrera, the general manager of a cooperative of largely Latino-owned businesses, said his store was broken into twice during the unrest. “There’s nothing to lose for them anymore. When there’s no justice, no fairness and no equity, they lose hope,” he said. Associated Press
ICE Continues to Shuttle Detainees Despite COVID-19
Over the past several months, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been shuttling hundreds of people in its custody around the country, with NBC News identifying at least 80 transfers during the pandemic. Immigrants have been transferred from California to Florida, Florida to New Mexico, Arizona to Washington State, and Pennsylvania to Texas, among other places. Some of these transfers have led to outbreaks at facilities in Texas, Ohio, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, according to different sources.. At least 55 of the roughly 200 facilities ICE uses have experienced cases of COVID-19. NBC News
Immigrant Doctors Fear Catching COVID-19 Could Lead to Deportation
There are an estimated 15,000 physicians in the U.S. on temporary H-1B visas. But those visas are dependent on their employment status, meaning that if a prolonged illness cost them their jobs, even temporarily, they could lose their visas also. That job loss would put a physician’s whole family in jeopardy, as their family relies on their visa to stay in the U.S. Two families of Indian doctors who died due to COVID-19 are now in limbo and potentially facing deportation. Any long term complications caused by contracting COVID-19 could also place their status in jeopardy. The Wall Street Journal
Asylum Seekers Struggle While Waiting in Mexico
Immigrants stranded in Tijuana are struggling to hold on as they await immigration court hearings. For over a year, the Trump administration has been turning away asylum seekers and forcing them to wait in Mexico for hearings. Those hearings have been delayed even further due to the global pandemic, leaving many immigrants stranded in Mexico and struggling to hold on with limited resources. More than 20,000 people with cases pending are waiting in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols. Hearings in those cases have been delayed until at least June 22. San Diego Union-Tribune
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