Tens of thousands of immigrants are currently residing in detention facilities in Florida and across the country. U.S. immigration law officials must provide for their temporal needs, including medical care, as needed. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents say there are more than 50,000 immigrants detained at this time.
Of those 50,000, approximately 2,000 or more are quarantined because they are said to be suffering from various diseases. In the past year, more than 50 detention facilities have experienced mumps outbreaks. In fact, a mumps outbreak at one particular center impeded a man’s ability to seek release during his asylum process.
In addition to mumps, hundreds of immigrants at numerous facilities have been sick with the flu, as well as chicken pox. An immigration official said the increased number of immigrants with infectious diseases is due to an influx of people crossing U.S. borders from Central America. The man in question was being held in a privately-run detention center in another state. He had been in touch with an attorney, who reportedly had agreed to help him seek asylum.
However, before the man had a chance to meet with his attorney, detention officers locked him up in a quarantine cell. The 19-year-old said he was on lock-down for weeks, with no visitors allowed, nor was he permitted to access the dining hall or library. His attorney was denied in-person visits, but the man’s court case remained active over a video conference line.
The judge overseeing the case ordered deportation. The young man later lamented that he believes the fact that he was denied in-person representation from his attorney had a highly negative effect on his case. He said he felt confused, overwhelmed and unequipped to handle the court process with no attorney present to provide support. Any Florida immigrant facing legal problems in detention may seek U.S. immigration law support by requesting an in-person meeting with an experienced attorney.