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FEATURING JOSEPH VILLELA – A medical staff member at a privately-run immigrant detention center in New Jersey has tested positive for the Coronavirus. The center specializes in the detention and placement of immigrant children. Authorities have announced there have been no other cases so far.

As the spread of the virus brings life across the US to a halt, the government’s immigration enforcement operations have not ceased. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) released a statement saying it would draw down operations and only focus on arresting criminals temporarily. But reports abound of arrests all over the country. Even though ICE has said it would not arrest immigrants near hospitals and that people should not avoid seeking care over fears of arrest, there is at least one known case of ICE agents posing as doctors to arrest a father of six.

A coalition of immigrant rights groups has now called on federal and state governments to immediately take actions to protect immigrants during this pandemic.

Joseph Villela, Director of Policy and Advocacy at CHIRLA, the Coalition for Humane Immigrants Right in LA.

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