VA senators call for ICE to stop transferring detainees amid COVID-19 pandemic

Virginia Politics

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (August 2019)

WASHINGTON (WAVY) — U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) on Friday urged U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop the transfer of individuals in ICE custody during the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes transfers that recently resulted in a spike of more than 50 COVID-19 cases at the ICE detention facility in Farmville, Va.

In a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Warner and Kaine recommended the secretary to prioritize the health of detainees and workers at ICE detention centers and to work with the Virginia Department of Health to increase COVID-19 testing at facilities.

In the letter, the senators called for widespread testing in the facilities in order to reduce further spread of the virus.

The senators previously pushed ICE to work with the Virginia Department of Health following a May offer by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, to provide testing support to ICE detention facilities in both Farmville and Bowling Green.

Warner and Kaine pushed ICE to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in its facilities calling on the DHS inspector general to examine ICE detention facilities nationwide to evaluate whether or not operations, management, standards, and conditions are adequate.

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