After Stephane Etienne was ordered deported to Haiti in February, ICE started to repeatedly switch him from one detention middle to a different. Over the course of six weeks, he was transferred eight occasions between 5 totally different amenities in three states — at the same time as President Trump and governors all around the nation discouraged pointless journey.
Each time Etienne was moved, he was packed right into a bus or aircraft with different detainees.
“Social distancing goes out the window,” Etienne mentioned.
Finally, his actions started to intersect with outbreaks of COVID-19, and after he arrived on the Pine Prairie detention middle in Louisiana in April, he examined optimistic for the illness.
Etienne has no approach of understanding the place he contracted the virus. “The way in which ICE transfers you so many occasions, it’s nearly unimaginable,” he mentioned. He’s additionally been pressured to work together with older detainees and a few with underlying circumstances that make them weak to the illness.
Immigrant advocates have lengthy complained of extreme transfers between ICE amenities, which they are saying makes it tough for detainees to succeed in their households and attorneys. Now they’re decrying the observe for the extra hazard it presents throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
VICE Information examines how ICE has doubtless contributed to spreading COVID-19 throughout the detention system.
Cowl: Stephane Etienne, a detainee on the Pine Prairie detention middle in Louisiana (Proper). (VICE Information Tonight/VICE TV)