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COVID-19 Cases Grow at Packed ICE Detention Centers

Plus: Family portraits highlight U.S.'s diverse immigrants, military member struggles to bring daughter to the U.S.

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

Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers have been reporting a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases among detainees. Public health officials are warning these crowded facilities could soon breed outbreaks. According to ICE, the number of migrants held at detention centers has almost doubled as border crossings increased from the start of the Biden administration. ICE is holding more than 26,000 detainees as of last week, compared to 14,000 in April. The New York Times’ analysis revealed over 7,500 new COVID-19 cases were reported during that same period. ICE’s latest data shows only 20 percent of detainees passing through centers have received about one dose of the vaccine. The New York Times 

In other national immigration news…

Family Portraits Highlight Immigrant Communities Across the U.S.

Alexander-Julian Gibbson, who is Nigerian American, has highlighted the rich diversity of the U.S.’s immigrant communities with his photo series The Land of Milk and Honey. Gibbson used his fashion background to capture immigrant families in their home countries’ traditional garb to create a complex portrait of the U.S. He teamed up with Instagram to make open calls for photograph subjects through Instagram stories, DMs and tags. “You have all of these people talking about what America is supposed to look like, but immigrants and people of color are also a part of the face of America,” Gibbson said. i-D VICE 

Father Faces Obstacles Before Bringing His Daughter to U.S.

Airman 1st Class Tayki Botchway wants to become a U.S. citizen because of his 7-year-old daughter, who is still in Ghana. The air freight technician, who works with the 43rd Air Mobility Squadron at Fort Bragg’s Pope Army Airfield, hopes to sponsor her to eventually join him in the U.S. His journey in the U.S. had some obstacles that he referred to as learning experiences. In 2014, Botchway won a lottery program, the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, that guaranteed him entry into the U.S. He was later arrested twice for legal misunderstandings, but joined the Air Force in 2019 in hopes of moving forward. The Fayetteville Observer 

Ohio Gov. Sends National Guard, State Troopers to U.S.-Mexico Border

Joining Florida, Nebraska and South Dakota’s governors, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced he is sending 185 Ohio Army National Guard members and 14 Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers to Texas. This follows his previous deployment of 115 National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border, whom DeWine said “currently remain on active duty.” The troopers will assist state authorities with surveillance for about two weeks, DeWine said. Republican governors have blamed the Biden administration for the recent border influx. Spectrum News

Dozens of Migrants Scammed into Deportation

Three South Los Angeles relatives allegedly scammed dozens of migrants, the majority of whom were processed for deportation without their knowledge. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Oscar Mauricio Gil, Judith Gil and Minerva Gil unlawfully gave legal services for immigrants seeking U.S. residency or work permits. When the Gils filed invalid asylum cases for these clients, it led to the clients’ deportation. The Gils collected over $101,000 from 38 clients. Some of the victims weren’t aware the family filled asylum applications on their behalves, while others weren’t informed they weren’t eligible for asylum benefits, according to the felony complaint. KTLA

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