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Man Dies of COVID-19 in ICE Custody

A 50-year-old Honduran man detained in Texas became the 19th person to die in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody so far this fiscal year

Mazin Sidahmed

Aug 31, 2020

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A 50-year-old Honduran man detained at the Joe Corley Processing Center in Conroe, Texas, died after testing positive for COVID-19 and being sent to a hospital, BuzzFeed News reports. According to ICE, 50 people had tested positive at the Joe Corley Processing Center. The man was the 19th immigrant to die in ICE custody in fiscal year 2020, matching the total in 2006. The coronavirus pandemic has spread rapidly in ICE’s immigration jails, with advocates long saying immigrants were facing a death sentence by being forced to remain there. Some immigration attorneys have managed to get a release for their clients on health grounds. BuzzFeed News

In other national immigration news…

DACA Recipients Sue Trump Administration

Beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are challenging the Trump administration in court. After the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the program, the Department of Homeland Security said it would limit renewals to one year instead of two and not accept new applicants. DACA recipients and Make the Road New York said in an amended complaint that the latest directive was “cruel, heartless and unlawful.” The complaint was filed in an ongoing case in the Eastern District of New York. Attorney Generals from 16 states also filed amended complaints on Friday challenging the administration’s actions. CNN

ICE Reports 233 More Coronavirus Cases in Arizona Facility

ICE has reported 233 more confirmed COVID-19 cases at the La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona, bringing it to a total of 356 cases. La Palma has by far the most cases of any of ICE’s immigration jails. ICE spokeswoman Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe said the agency had expanded testing at La Palma, testing 1,000 detainees. The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, which provides legal services to detainees, underscored the need for immigrants to be released on bond from detention, saying conditions were not safe. Advocacy groups across the country have successfully filed lawsuits to release immigrant detainees with pre-existing conditions. Associated Press

Black U.S. Diplomat Regularly Pulled Over by CBP

A Black U.S. diplomat working in Ciudad Juarez says Customs and Border Protection officers regularly pull him over when he is crossing the border into the U.S., despite having a diplomatic passport. In less than one month, Tianna Spears was pulled in for secondary inspection five times, she wrote in a first-person essay in Politico. These inspections were not happening to Spears’ colleagues even though she had passed extensive background and security checks to get a job at the State Department. Spears also has a SENTRI card, which requires a rigorous background check and grants expedited border crossing. The vast majority of Spears’ colleagues are white, while she is Black. Politico

Trump Admin. Will Not Deport Colombian Warlord to Italy

The Trump administration will deport Salvatore Mancuso, a Colombian paramilitary boss, to his homeland, as opposed to Italy where he was previously headed. The reversal came on Sunday and his lawyers have 14 days to challenge the order. Mancusco is a dual national of Italy and Colombia. He completed a 12-year sentence for cocaine trafficking in March and was ordered removed to Italy. His return to Colombia will allow for the resumption of truth and reconciliation efforts that stalled when several warlords were extradited to the U.S. Mancuso was a top commander of the United Defense Forces of Colombia paramilitary group. Associated Press

Mazin Sidahmed

Mazin Sidahmed is the co-executive director of Documented. He previously worked for the Guardian US in New York. He started his career writing for The Daily Star in Beirut and he also contributed to Politico New York.

@mazsidahmed

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