As Coronavirus Infections Spread, So Have Clashes Between ICE Detainees and Guards

March 26, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, so have confrontations between detainees and guards at Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities across the country, the latest in Louisiana and Texas.

The battles come as four people — two correctional officers and two detainees — tested positive for COVID-19 at New Jersey detention facilities.

On Monday, migrants clashed with guards over a lack of safe conditions and demanded to be released from the South Texas Processing Center in Pearsall, attorneys and family members said. The melee led to a standoff and the guards shot pepper spray at the detainees, which ended with nine of the migrants now held for disciplinary charges. The migrants had raised concerns about the lack of screening measures for new arrivals to the complex, operated by the Florida-based GEO Group under a contract with ICE.