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About 150 individuals, including seven guards and a federal health care worker, have tested positive for COVID-19 since an outbreak began in early June at Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma, Washington, according to a lawyer observing court-ordered government notices of COVID-19 cases at the facility. A document by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western Washington showed the virus increase stemmed from the federal government transferring almost 1,100 immigrants to Tacoma in an attempt to relieve overcrowded facilities at the southern border. The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the American Civil Liberties Union, which are representing detainees in a case over safety protocols at the center, argue the government isn’t following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance with transfers and asked the court for a temporary restraining order for compliance. The Seattle Times
In other national immigration news…
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Parents of 337 Children Separated at the Border are Still Missing
U.S. officials still can’t locate the parents of 337 children who were separated from their parents at the southern border during the Trump administration. Attorneys, activists and Biden officials helped reunite 861 children with their parents so far, according to a new court filing released by the Justice Department and ACLU. According to the filing, the 377 children fall into three groups: 250 children’s parents are believed to have been removed from the U.S. after being separated, 75 children’s parents are believed to be in the U.S. and 12 children who the government is holding haven’t given a phone number for the parent, sponsor or attorney. The Guardian
First Migrants Arrested Under Texas Gov. Served Time
Nine immigrants appeared for their first court hearing under Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order for state troopers to arrest migrants crossing the southern border and detain them for state crimes. All of the Venezuelan migrants pleaded guilty to trespassing on private property in Del Rio last month. They were given a sentence of 15 days in jail, which they already served at the Briscoe Unit, a new state-run jail for migrants established under Abbott’s order. The men will wait two days to see if ICE officials will take them into federal custody. The ACLU of Texas argued the arrests could impede people’s constitutional right to seek asylum in the U.S. The Texas Tribune
Report: Washington Police Agencies Continue Working with ICE
A 39-page report by the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights revealed that police departments and federal immigration officers are continuing to work together despite sanctuary laws in Washington. Local law enforcement assists the federal agents with traffic stops and would candidly provide them with personal information of inmates. One county sheriff’s office would fax a list of inmates and birthplaces to agents while some continuously notified ICE when undocumented inmates were released from jail. Phil Neff, a researcher, said for 18 months, they focused on records of policy changes, emails and thousands of pages of forms that federal officers complete when someone is going to be deported. OPB
Delta Variant Hitting Minnesota’s Black Immigrant Community Hard
Minnesota’s Black communities getting infected at higher rates than other populations as the COVID-19 Delta variant makes its way throughout the U.S. According to Minnesota Compass, roughly 40 percent of the Black population in the state are African immigrants. Members of immigrant communities and health clinics that serve them say the Delta variant is causing an uptick in cases. An analysis of state data by MPR News reveals that the seven-day average of new cases among Black Minnesotans is close to 40 per 100,000, nearly twice that of white Minnesotans. Sahan Journal
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