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What's it like to be a migrant or correctional officer in an immigrant detention facility located in a global hotspot during a pandemic?
At the Eloy Detention Center in southern Arizona, correctional officers and immigrants' rights advocates and lawyers are decrying dangerous conditions they say have exacerbated the outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility.
The Arizona Republic reported July 9 that 128 staff members at the center tested positive for COVID-19. The 128 members make up nearly 41% of the workforce at Eloy. In June, a correctional officer at the facility died from potential COVID-19 complications.
The center is run by CoreCivic, a for-profit private prison company based in Nashville. It is under contract from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
In this week's episode of The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast, host Ronald J. Hansen speaks with immigration reporter Daniel Gonzalez. Hansen and Gonzalez break down the lengthy list of allegations against CoreCivic and ICE, how the company and agency have responded, and how the 2020 election plays into immigration decisions made by the federal government that might affect detention centers like these.