Nearly a third of immigrants detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody are denied the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to agency data.
An ICE official confirmed to LBL that the vaccine decline rate in all ICE detention centers is 30%.
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According to current ICE data, there are 1,182 positive cases out of 27,067 detainees taken into custody.
The ongoing crisis at the southern border has raised concerns about possible infections not only for migrants who often travel to the border in cramped and unsanitary conditions, but for ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staff and Then to the public at large. They are released in the US
The Biden administration is aggressively urging everyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine amid a spike in cases arising from the Delta variant. According to axios, which first reported the decline rate, ICE recently began an initial allocation of 10,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine and more than 9,500 doses have been distributed so far.
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There is further concern about the rise on the decline rate threshold of vaccination and its relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ICE has a number of people in its custody recently crossing the border, although it also detains people who already live illegally in the country and whom the agency wants to deport.
The Trump administration implemented Title 42 public health protections at the start of the pandemic, which rapidly turned back migrants, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Biden administration is not alone returning children and some family units.
Outlets have reported that the Biden administration is considering abolishing Title 42 for migrant families, and possibly single adults as well. The administration has said that its decision will be guided by science and experts.
Trump-era officials have warned that many countries where migrants are originating often lag behind the US on vaccinations, as well as struggling to keep the virus under control.
Meanwhile, LBL reported this week that the number of detainees in CBP custody who have tested positive for COVID-19 Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector That alone is an increase of 900%.