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ICE Stays Quiet on Vaccination Rates at Buffalo Federal Detention Facility

Plus: Child of Immigrants backed for Bronx president, health aide charged for spreading COVID-19, and more immigration news.

Deanna Garcia

Jun 07, 2021

The agency says it is working to distribute the covid vaccine to detainees, but its history of shoddy medical care has advocates worried

These photos were taken at Batavia - Buffalo Federal Detention Facility. Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Flickr

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Even though New York is moving onto the next phase of the pandemic and no longer requiring people to wear masks, this isn’t the case in immigration jails. A few detention centers are still seeing an incline of COVID-19 cases, and some have yet to distribute vaccines to detainees. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hasn’t shared how many vaccinations have been provided, including at the largest detention center in New York, the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility. Public defenders have been fighting for vaccines to be available for detainees when the vaccination process began in New York, but they still have no information on what’s happening in Buffalo. ICE said all detainees at the facility were offered the vaccine, but didn’t go further into detail. City Limits

United African Coalition Supports Child of Immigrants for Bronx Borough President

New York state Assemblymember Nathalia Fernández, daughter of immigrants, has support from the United African Coalition for her run for Bronx borough president. UNAC believes that if elected, Fernández “will fight for the long overdue change to achieve equity for every Bronx resident.” Fernández said that from her parents, she learned how hard immigrants work to overcome obstacles and inequalities within the society. Other organizations, including the New York Immigration Coalition Action, as well as assemblymembers and state senators have endorsed Fernández’s campaign. Norwood News 

NJ Immigrant Health Aide Accused of Spreading COVID-19

Josefina Brito-Fernandez is being accused of exposing an 80-year-old patient to COVID-19. The patient died of COVID-19 last May in Camden, New Jersey. In what seems like the only case of a health care worker being held criminally liable for spreading the virus, Brito-Fernandez permanently lost her license to work and could be deported. Brito-Fernandez is a legal permanent resident from the Dominican Republic, meaning that even a small conviction could cause her to lose her immigration status. Experts say her case is a “unique” and “disturbing” example of how the U.S. is using disease transmission to criminalize vulnerable residents. The Guardian

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