Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam has sent a letter to Deputy Director of US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Matthew Albence, urging all ICE appointments in Miramar, FL be suspended due to COVID-19.
“In light of the rapid global spread of COVID-19, individuals that report to immigration detention facilities under the custody of ICE are at risk for an outbreak,” says Messam. “I strongly recommend that ICE suspend the check-in requirements for immigrants and also implement alternatives for those in detention to alleviate the spread of the disease and ensure proper protocols consistent with CDC guidelines to protect the health of immigrants, employees and the community at large.”
The City of Miramar has observed, over the past two years, large numbers of immigrants who wait outside of the Miramar facility for their appointments. While some steps have been made to address the over-crowding as a result of pressure from city officials, there remains great concern for overall public safety.
The ICE Facility, located at 2805 SW 145th Avenue in Miramar, FL schedules appointments for immigrants to check-in regarding their status in the United States.
“Reports that the virus may be viable for hours in the air are particularly concerning. Though people are most contagious when they are symptomatic, transmission has been documented in the absence of symptoms. We have reached the point where community spread is occurring in Broward County. The number of cases is growing exponentially and health systems across the US are already starting to be strained. Until Broward County and the State of Florida gain a firm handle of this pandemic, I am of the conclusion that the immigration enforcement process as it exists, threatens the well-being of immigrants who have to check-in, the residents of Miramar and Broward County as well as immigrations and customs enforcement officers and staff,” said Messam.