Approximately 5,200 adult migrants in US custody for illegally entering the country have been quarantined by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after being exposed to mumps or chicken pox, according to the agency.
An ICE official told CNN on Friday that of the quarantined individuals, approximately 80% (4,200) were exposed to mumps, 800 were exposed to chicken pox, and around 100 migrants were exposed to both. They will be quarantined for 25 days.
Just because individuals are quarantined doesn't mean they have the mumps, but they've at least been exposed to it. From September 2018 to June 13, 297 people in ICE custody had confirmed cases of mumps, proven by blood test. -CNN
The agency began recording cases of mumps last September, with 297 cases for the period of time ending June 13.
"I think there is heightened interest in this situation because it's the mumps, which is a new occurrence in custody, but preventing the spread of communicable disease in ICE custody is something we have demonstrated success doing," said ICE executive associate director for enforcement and removal operations, Nathalie Asher.
"From an operational perspective, the impact is significant in the short and long term and will result in an increase in cohorted detainees' length of stay in detention, an inability to effect removal of eligible cohorted detainees, and postponing scheduled consular interviews for quarantined detainees," Ascher added.
According to the report, ICE staff has been put on alert.
"This week, the ICE Health Service Corps issued a reminder to senior field leadership reminding their staff to review vaccination records and take appropriate actions," said CNN's source.
In May, almost 133,000 illegals were apprehended by Customs and Border Protection, the vast majority of whom were families and unaccompanied minors.
CBP employees are overwhelmed
This week, Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said that employee morale among border officials is low.
"Their morale is impacted. They're tired. A lot of them have gotten sick. They've been exposed to flu, chicken pox, measles, mumps -- all kinds of challenges in terms of the medical care," he said. "They're spending time overnight in hospitals instead of patrolling the border."
Late last month, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general released a report detailing some of the issues facing border patrol facilities amid the swell of migrant arrivals.
In particular, the IG found "dangerous overcrowding" and unsanitary conditions at an El Paso, Texas, Border Patrol processing facility following an unannounced inspection, according to a new report.
The IG found "standing room only conditions" at the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center, which has a maximum capacity of 125 migrants. On May 7 and 8, logs indicated that there were "approximately 750 and 900 detainees, respectively." -CNN
"We also observed detainees standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space, thus limiting access to the toilets," according to the report.
We wonder how far along Trump's wall would be by now if Congress had played ball on day one.