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Philadelphians are trying to stop a local hospital from “medically repatriating” an undocumented Guatemalan man with a serious brain injury. The man was injured in a motorcycle accident in May and was staying at Jefferson Torresdale Hospital. On Wednesday, activists gathered at the hospital to try to physically prevent the agency from deporting him, but that plan turned out to be unnecessary. His niece said he would not be moved for four weeks. The hospital said it would never “make an independent decision related to a patient’s care or their placement,” but advocates said the hospital was getting ready to charter a private flight to Guatemala. The Philadelphia Inquirer
In other national immigration news…
Miami Federal Judge May Order Investigations for Three Detention Facilities
A Miami federal judge may appoint a “fact-finder” to survey three South Florida immigration detention centers after detainees gave live testimonies about the deteriorating conditions in the facility as the coronavirus spreads. During a virtual court hearing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke told U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement she could soon assign a “special master” or “professional observer” to see if her court orders have been actually followed. Plaintiffs are seeking the release of detainees at the Krome Processing Center in Miami-Dade, the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach and the Glades Detention Center in Moore Haven. Yahoo
DHS OIG Report Details Coronavirus Spread in Detention System
On March 25, 2020, just one detainee had tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the Department of Homeland Security’s immigrant detention facilities. By May 26, 2020, 1,312 detainees across 52 facilities had tested positive, according to a report from the DHS Office of Inspector General. The office sent out a survey to 188 ICE detention facilities to gauge their response to the pandemic. Those facilities said they had increased cleaning and disinfecting common areas, but were worried they were unable to practice social distancing. “Overall, almost all facility personnel stated they were prepared to address COVID-19, but expressed concerns if the pandemic continued to spread,” the report concluded. Read the report.
Immigrants Test Positive for COVID-19 at Family Detention Center
In Karnes County Residential Center, a family detention center in Texas, 11 immigrants have tested positive for COVID-19, according to court documents released on Thursday. The detention center in Karnes City is run by the private prison firm Geo Group. The details came out following an inspection of how children were treated in the facility as part of a longstanding civil lawsuit. Advocates have called on ICE to release immigrants from its custody because of the risk of catching COVID-19, which has spread rapidly in several ICE facilities. The inspection found that some staff failed to wear masks or observe social distancing requirements. BuzzFeed News
Judge Raises Questions Over Rapid Deportations
A federal judge blocked the removal of a 16-year old Honduran boy who was in the process of being rapidly deported from the U.S. The Trump administration has implemented a policy of rapid deportations following an order from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention banning unauthorized border crossing during the pandemic. The case raised questions over the legality of the policy which has resulted in thousands of asylum seekers, including children, being turned away at the border without having their cases heard. The judge on the case, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, was appointed by Trump. CNN