The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Aurora experienced its largest COVID-19 outbreak to date when 97 migrants who were moved last month to the detention center from the southern border were found to be infected with the virus, raising questions about testing and migrant transfers during a pandemic.
The COVID-positive cases were found in a group of more than 200 migrants who were transferred to Aurora during the second half of April from detention facilities along the border, ICE spokeswoman Alethea Smock said.
The bulk of those detainees, she said, came from U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities where, according to news reports, coronavirus testing has been compromised by the sheer number of people crossing the border. The New York Times reported that the more than 170,000 migrants apprehended in March were the most in any month in at least 15 years.
Both Democratic U.S. Rep. Jason Crow of Aurora and Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman are calling on the Biden administration to address the issue.
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