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Black Immigrants Battling Racism Across U.S.

Plus: Immigrants are buying unsafe drugs to treat COVID-19, and families get to reunite at the border for 3 minutes.

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

Black Americans and immigrants are battling racism within the immigration system. According to a 2018 Pew Research Study, over 4.2 million Black immigrants reside in the U.S. “From an immigration perspective, Black immigrants face disproportionate levels of detention and exclusion,” said Diana Konate, policy director for African Communities Together. Among them is Yacouba, who fled his home country in 2018 after being threatened and attacked. He said his trip to the U.S. was the first of the most challenging periods in his life, and being a Black immigrant detainee was the second. While in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, Yacouba, who has asthma and chronic sinusitis, said his requests to see a doctor were always dismissed while others were quickly being released. Huff Post 

In other national immigration news…

Undocumented Immigrants Purchasing Unproven Drugs for COVID-19

At Fresno, California’s biggest outdoor flea market, prescription drugs for COVID-19 treatments were being sold. Vendors sold $25 injections of dexamethasone, different kinds of antibiotics and ivermectin. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drugs former President Donald Trump falsely pushed as a treatment, are also being sold. Health and consumer protection agencies have been warning individuals against taking these treatments. But they have still caught the eyes of low-income immigrant communities where COVID-19 rates are high. Some individuals turn to unproven drugs because mainstream medicine is too expensive or is unavailable due to language or cultural barriers. The New York Times 

200 Families Reunite at the Southern Border for Only Three Minutes

On Saturday, roughly 200 families reunited during a “Hugs Not Walls” event, allowing families separated by the U.S.-Mexico border to meet for only a few minutes. The event has been hosted since 2016 by an El Paso nonprofit, the Border Network for Human Rights. The Silvas travelled four hours from Albuquerque to El Paso to introduce a three month old baby to her brother, who lives in Juárez, Mexico, for three minutes. In order for the reunifications to happen, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the International Water Commission, local law enforcement and federal police in Mexico need to sign off on the event. Mother Jones 

60 Migrant Children Rescued from Extremely Hot Trucks 

About 60 migrants who were piled up in unventilated trucks were rescued from extremely high temperatures during separate human smuggling incidents this month in Texas. Agents with the Laredo North Station said they stopped a U-Haul and discovered “27 undocumented individuals in the unventilated cargo area of the moving truck.” Officials said, “The temperature inside the cargo compartments was a sweltering 106 degrees Fahrenheit.” The migrants, who were from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, were placed under arrest along with a passenger and driver, who were both U.S. citizens. Officials said the migrants “were suffering from heat related illnesses.” NBC News 

COVID-19 Increases in Immigration Detention During Transfers

When the number of ICE detainees began to rise in May, so did the amount of positive COVID-19 cases. On May 19, the agency reported more than 2,100 cases between detention facilities in Mississippi and Louisiana, a major increase from the beginning of March. Advocates believe the incline is due to ICE’s refusal to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to detainees. The Intercept discovered that even when vaccines are offered, some detainees aren’t taking them because they’re skeptical of medical care in ICE custody. COVID-19 cases are also increasing because ICE is transferring detainees through a Mississippi facility, where there are the most cases of any facility. The Intercept

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