Christian Mejia thought he had a shot at getting out of immigration detention in rural Louisiana after he’d found a lawyer to help him seek asylum, reports Reuters.
Then he was quarantined.In early January, a mumps outbreak at the privately-run Pine Prairie U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Processing Center put Mejia and hundreds of other detainees on lockdown. “When there is just one person who is sick, everybody pays,” Mejia, 19, said in a phone interview from the Pine Prairie center describing weeks without visits and access to the library and dining hall.
His attorney wasn’t allowed in, but his immigration court case continued anyway - over a video conference line. On Feb. 12, the judge ordered Mejia deported back to Honduras.
The number of people amassed in immigration detention under the Trump administration has reached record highs, raising concerns among migrant advocates about disease outbreaks and resulting quarantines that limit access to legal services.