First ICE detainee tests positive for coronavirus

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A 31-year-old Mexican national is the first detainee to test positive for coronavirus in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, the agency announced Tuesday.

The detainee, who has been held at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey, has been quarantined and is receiving care, ICE said, adding that the agency “is suspending intake at the facility until further information is available.”

Immigrant advocates and lawmakers have warned about the potential spread of coronavirus in detention facilities, which have a checkered history of dealing with illnesses.

As part of its efforts to stop coronavirus from spreading, the agency recently announced it was temporarily suspending social visitation at ICE facilities “as a precautionary measure” – meaning family members, friends and advocates who used to be able to visit detained loved ones in person can’t anymore, at least for now.

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