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COVID-19 Outbreak at New Jersey’s Elizabeth Detention Center

At least five people detained at Elizabeth Detention Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, were reported to have COVID-19.

Deanna Garcia

Nov 24, 2020

While advocates pressure Gov. Murphy to end new ICE detention contracts, CoreCivic extended its contract until 2023

A detention center in Elizabeth, N.J.

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At least five people detained at Elizabeth Detention Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, were reported to have COVID-19, according to a release from the Immigrant Defense Project. An Immigration Customs and Enforcement Health Services Corps employee at EDC, who tested positive for COVID-19, died Nov. 2. Four CoreCivic employees and another IHSC employee also tested positive. The jail, which holds 128 individuals, is currently under quarantine. Since the beginning of the pandemic, community members and advocates have called on ICE to free detained immigrants. EDC was the first immigration jail to have an IHSC employee test positive for COVID-19, which quickly spread to detained individuals. Pix 11

In other local immigration news…

Haitian Refugee Groups Wants Biden to Abolish Trump Immigration Policies

The Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees’ Temporary Protected Status Committee and the Haitian National TPS Alliance are pushing President-elect Joe Biden to keep his promise of undoing President Trump’s immigration policies. Among other promises, Biden said he would protect Temporary Protected Status holders and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Recipients. Ninaj Raoul, chair of the Haitian Women group, noted Trump jeopardized TPS for more than 400,000 people, including many from Haiti. The ongoing Saget v. Trump lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn, challenges the Trump administration’s decision on TPS. CNW Network 

Hudson County Freeholders Urged to Vote Against ICE Contract

At a Tuesday meeting, public speakers called on New Jersey’s Hudson County Freeholders to vote against a new contract with ICE to house detainees at the county jail. An agreement between ICE and Hudson County, which expires at the end of the year, has ICE pay the county $120 each day for every immigrant detainee it holds. The agreement brought in $22 million last year, though Hudson County jail only holds 93 detainees, according ICE. If that population remains the same next year, Hudson County would only make $4 million, which advocates and officials say can be easily replaced in the county budget. NJ.com

Immigrant Deported After Contracting COVID-19 in Detention

After not hearing from her husband Remy for five days, Marinés Espinoza, a resident of the Albany area, found out he was transferred from the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia — but she wasn’t sure where he was sent. Once Marinés finally got ahold of Remy, she learned he was one of dozens of immigrants who contracted COVID-19 after being transferred to another detention center in Louisiana, and was slated for deportation. So far in 2020, 164,455 people have been deported from the U.S. Like many deportees, Espinoza’s husband was denied political asylum, making his deportation final. Albany Times Union



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