LAS VEGAS — (04-02-20) — The White House announced on Wednesday that ICE is considering releasing HIV detainees on a case by case basis due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After receiving pressure from both sides of the political aisle, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said that ICE is looking into the issue on Wednesday.
“In some cases, we do need to do that for the health and safety and well being of those detainees but again that’s a case-by-case basis,” said Wolf in response to a question during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing. “We’re not going to make any blanket statement that we’re going to release individuals or whole groups at a time.” said Wolf.
On top of that, visitation to all ICE detention centers have been suspended.
The new guidelines are that Lawyers, lawmakers and/or members of their staff who visit ICE detention centers, are now required to wear eye protection and disposable gloves.
“The health, welfare and safety of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees is one of the agency’s highest priorities,” reads the Guidelines posted on the ICE official website.
“Since the onset of reports of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), ICE epidemiologists have been tracking the outbreak, regularly updating infection prevention and control protocols, and issuing guidance to ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) staff for the screening and management of potential exposure among detainees.”
“ICE continues to incorporate CDC’s COVID-19 guidance, which is built upon the already established infectious disease monitoring and management protocols currently in use by the agency. In addition, ICE is actively working with state and local health partners to determine if any detainee requires additional testing or monitoring to combat the spread of the virus.”
Homeland Security Chad Wolf reiterated on Wednesday…“In the case of COVID we’re looking at vulnerable populations and again ICE is doing that in conjunction with CDC and other medical professionals,” said Wolf.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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