Tucson, Arizona – At least one migrant child and one woman in a group of 28 minors and their families who have spent more than a year and a half in detention tested positive for COVID-19 at the Detention Center Relative of Dilley, in South Texas, which has raised the alarm among groups that represent them.
“These are two of the cases that we have confirmed. We don’t know exactly how many could be infected, ”Allison Herre, a lawyer for the Dilley Pro-bono Project, who represents the families, told Efe.
He indicated that at least one eight-year-old boy from a Central American country tested positive for COVID-19 this week, the same as a woman who is part of families who are in danger of deportation and who are has denied the right to present their asylum cases.RELATED
What alarms Herre most is that, according to the migrants’ accounts, for several days they asked for medical assistance because the minor had symptoms related to COVID-19, but their requests were not heard until days later when he tested positive. to the test.
Meanwhile, the minor was in contact with other children and adults at the center, which has put more people at risk of contagion. Now after testing positive, the infected are in quarantine.
“Again we realize that migrant families are at great risk in detention centers. They have not brought the virus with them; someone had to bring it from outside and the center failed in its duty to protect them, “said the lawyer.
Last week the group Aldea-Centro de Justicia para la Gente and other organizations denounced that 28 migrant children and their families have spent more than a year and a half in detention in Texas and Pennsylvania, and are at risk of being deported after it expires. a court order that protected them.
The children’s ages range from 2 to 18 years old and are part of 23 families from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Chile, Nicaragua, Peru and Haiti.
Of those, 26 are in Dilley while another two are in the Berks Residential Center in Pennsylvania.
Families have not been allowed to present their asylum cases because when they entered the country there were still regulations in force implemented by the Administration of President Donald Trump, including the policy known as the “third country” policy, which denied the Migrants apply for asylum in the United States if they did not apply first in Mexico.