North Texas Daily

ICE continuing operations during a pandemic is disgraceful

ICE continuing operations during a pandemic is disgraceful

ICE continuing operations during a pandemic is disgraceful
April 09
11:00 2020

During a time of fear, organizations with wrong intentions know that now would be the time to strike. When it comes to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they are aware of the impact they carry on the life-changing decisions made by their organization.

At this moment, ICE is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies in cultivating an accurate response to the pandemic. ICE has stated employees and personnel have been practicing social distancing and are giving all access and information to ICE employees in the current environment, according to a notice on the official website. Mission critical tasks are still in operation, which have to do with sex trafficking, drug and gang affiliations.

“[ICE] says 30 detainees and ICE personnel have tested positive for coronavirus in 16 different ICE facilities in 10 states as of Tuesday,” according to USA TODAY. All of the information provided was pertaining to their employees and personnel. For any type of visitation for detainees, all visitors are required to wear personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves.

Despite the fact there is a global health crisis occurring where thousands have already been infected with the virus, ICE is still continuing operations. Social distancing is being prioritized over the health and well-being of detainees during a time where the country and the economy is bursting at the seams.

Daily criminal and civil arrests are still being made and the verbiage of “national security” and “public safety” are being used. These two concepts are very important for the United States. We must keep our borders and population safe of any threats. However, people who are arrested are mostly always seeking refuge and are not high threats.

ICE is blindly tackling arrests and continuing to keep people detained while limiting basic human rights. For example, there were concerns of not having enough body soap in facilities so detainees protested which resulted in them getting pepper sprayed, according to a report by Buzzfeed News.

By this time, the detainees have learned what is happening in the outside world. Outside of those walls, U.S. citizens and residents are undergoing their own roller coaster of emotions. People are losing jobs and family members and there are high levels of mental stress going on due to COVID-19.

These people are more vulnerable being detained and unaware of what is happening outside than they have ever been before. The rest of the public is suffering from this unpredictable moment and the people being detained by ICE deserve to know what is going on. This is a time when people need to be shown the proper procedures to take, in order to avoid coming in contact with COVID-19. Finding medical help, attaining medical services, finding out what symptoms are and what steps to take in order to contain and make sure COVID-19 does not spread are all examples of what ICE needs to relay not only to their employees, but also to the people they have detained. Just because ICE has deemed these individuals “unsatisfactory” to live freely in this country, does not mean the people they have detained should not have basic care.

ICE continuing operations and continuing the mistreatment of its detainees is a disgrace and a shame during this unprecedented, historical time.

Featured Illustration: Olivia Varnell

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Bertha Smith

Bertha Smith

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