The same day U.S> Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking for the number and types of disease outbreaks at Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Aurora detention facility, Crow tried to tour the facility. He was denied entry.
A spokesperson from ICE contacted the Independent with the following statement about Crow's unannounced visit:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) routinely supports tours of its detention facilities by members of the media, elected officials and other stakeholders such as NGOs, community organizations, academia, etc., in the interest of transparency. In order to ensure the safety, security and privacy of detainees, these tours are arranged in advance and with the approval of the field office director.
According to a press release from Crow, ICE confirmed 291 people were quarantined at the facility on Feb. 22 due to a mumps case. The ICE spokesperson also sent the Independent a statement from Field Office Director Jeffrey Lynch about the quarantine.
With the recent influx of migrants coming from the southern border, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has confirmed one new case of parotitis, mumps, at our Denver Contract Detention Facility. Medical personnel are credited with reducing the further infection of detainees by their quick reaction to quarantine everyone who may have been inadvertently exposed to stop the spread of the disease. Each detainee receives a medical examination upon arrival at the facility to check for potential signs of illness, however ICE has no way of knowing what viruses a person may have been exposed to prior to entering the facility. Mumps is highly contagious, easily contracted by nearby people and difficult to detect until symptoms appear. ICE and the medical professionals employed by GEO took the necessary steps to quickly isolate the exposed detainees, provide proper medical care and prevent further spread of the disease. Preventative steps included education, early recognition, and following the guidelines established by the CDC and Immigration Health Services Corps (IHSC).
————ORIGINAL POST 1:00 A.M. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27, 2019————
- Rep. Jason Crow
Rep. Jason Crow, the Democrat representing Colorado's 6th Congressional District, demanded answers in a Feb. 20 letter. Crow asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to explain the number and types of disease outbreaks at the facility in the past year, and what actions ICE and GEO are taking to respond. He also asked for copies of contract documents between ICE and GEO and reports following the granting of any contract compliance waivers.
Oscar Guerrero-Olivares, a former cook and cashier at Poor Richard's Restaurant, was taken to the Aurora facility on Jan. 16 after ICE agents detained him at work.