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24 COVID-19 Cases in One Week at Tacoma Immigration Detention Center

La Resistencia is a grassroots volunteer undocumented-led group fighting alongside people detained at NWDC to end all detentions, all deportations, and to shut down NWDC.  |  Issue: October 2021
ICE protester
PHOTO: La Resistencia

Tacoma, WA – On Thursday several people detained called via phone La Resistencia, grassroots volunteer groups working to end all detentions and deportations, to report more cases of COVID in the general population. Later that day Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent yet another notice to a district judge in Seattle, the third one just this week, reporting 8 news cases of COVID-19 at the infamous Northwest Detention Center (NWDC). 4 of them from general population unit B2, and 1 from A2, these units have been in touch with La Resistencia for a while. Another person testing positive for COVID was brought recently from the Southern border, and 2 more were in quarantine in a medical overflow unit. These two people were identified through contact tracing when another GEO guard tested positive for the virus earlier this week. 

The almost daily notices of COVID-19 at NWDC reflect the danger people detained face, “There are about 35 to 40 still in the unit and holds up to 80 total detainees. There are [sic] no more testing, just temperature checks. Medical told us that they don’t know how to treat us because of their lack of experience with the COVID 19 situation, so they’re saying they are doing the best with the situation and treated as it’s a flu… detainees are coughing and having running nose, muscle pain …,” wrote a person detained in B2 unit this morning via email to La Resistencia.

Since June 6ht, when flights from the Southern border began bringing asylum seekers to be detained at NWDC, 19 guards and 217 immigrants detained have tested positive for COVID-19. August is now the month with the highest number of COVID cases since the beginning of the year at NWDC.

La Resistencia and groups from around the metropolitan area held a rally at NWDC  on August 21st.This rally was part of a national call to close all prisons, jails and detention centers. La Resistencia demands include the immediate release of all people with COVID so they can receive the medical care they require, as well as all immigrants with underlying illnesses that make them vulnerable to the virus, and ultimately the release of everyone in detention.  

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