The Trump administration is all business as usual regarding immigrant detention, despite the danger that the coronavius could spread rapidly in DHS's overcrowded, unsanitary immigration prisons which some critics have compared to concentration camps. An expose in The Hill by a leading immigration human rights attorney, Gerald S, Schatz, describes the danger as follows regarding the immigration system:

"We have dense concentrations of persons and confusion over direct and indirect exposures. These put at risk those who run the system, those who work in or alongside it, and the general public as well." See, March 20:

https://thehill.com/opinion/immigration/488709-immigration-policy-impedes-covid-19

Meanwhile, while Trump has been laser-focused on arresting, locking up, deporting and closing the US borders against as many immigrants as possible, while making racist remarks about the "Chinese virus", a shocking report in the March 20 Washington Post relates that Trump showed an appalling disregard for intelligence reports warning about the danger that the virus could spread to the US. Instead,Trump attempted to downplay the virus. See:


U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic


The Post writes:

"intelligence agencies 'have been warning on this since January,' said a U.S. official who had access to intelligence reporting that was disseminated to members of Congress and their staffs as well as to officials in the Trump administration and who, along with others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive information.

'Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were - they just couldn't get him to do anything about it.' this official said. 'The system was blinking red.'"


America may now be paying a terrible price for Trump's prioritizing his obsession with arresting, locking up, deporting and barring primarily brown and black immigrants from the US instead of protecting the lives and health of the American people from the most dangerous pandemic in 100 years.

But Trump's ramping up anti-immigrant hate by detaining even more immigrants in inhuman conditions which not only threaten their own lives and health but those of all Americans, is not just the result of his giving top priority to ethnic cleansing of nonwhite immigrants above all other issues, including coronavirus. It is also part of Trump's agenda of relying on anti-immigrant prejudice to distract attention away from his own coronavirus failures.See

Slate, March 21:


Why Trump started calling the coronavirus the 'Chinese virus'

https://slate.com/new-and-politics/2020/03/trump-calling-coronaviris-chinese-virus.html

Trump now claims to be concerned about the lives and safety of millions of Americans who are no in danger of being affected by the virus. But the lives, health and safety of incarcerated immigrants who could also easily become agents for spreading the virus into the general population evidently are of no concern to him at all.

Politico reports as follows on March 22:

"'Detained mothers, fathers and children are forced to live and sleep in close quarters and are required to congregate and as a result, cannot achieve the ''social distancing'' needed to effectively prevent the spread of Covid-19' according to [a lawsuit] filed by immigration lawyers in New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. 'Even in their beds they cannot even sleep or receive the required distance necessary to protect themselves.'"


https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/22/suit-release-immigrant-families-coronavirus-142485

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
Harvard Law School LL.B
Harvard College A.B.