Updated: March 17, 2021 10:46:11 am
Immigrants imprisoned in immigration facilities across the United States face health conditions and often have chronic illnesses that would expose them to greater risk with Covid-19, a new study suggests. The study, by researchers from the University of California, Davis, was published earlier this month in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.
The researchers looked at health data of more than 500 people detained in 2013-14 by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, at hundreds of facilities across California. The researchers said the detainees’ health conditions are likely similar to a current population.
Of the individuals detained in 2013-14, at least 42 percent had at least one chronic condition, combined with other health issues, and additionally face disruption in care upon entering the facility. A majority (95.6%) reported having access to stable housing in the country.
“Even one chronic condition can increase risk for severe consequences from COVID-19,” the authors said. One study of Covid-19 patients, they said, revealed that more than 80% had more than one underlying medical condition. These risks are heightened if health conditions are not adequately managed and there is disruption of pre-existing health care because they are incarcerated, the researchers said.
“… Decision-makers must consider every available option to mandate release from the congregate setting of detention centers in which social distancing is almost impossible even under ideal conditions,” the researchers concluded.
— Source: University of California, Davis
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