Judge: ICE facility must create plan to vaccinate detainees

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BUFFALO, NY (AP) – A migrant detention center in western New York that has been plagued by coronavirus must develop a plan to vaccinate detainees against the disease, a judge said Thursday.

More More than 40 people held at Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia were being held in solitary confinement or surveillance on Friday after testing positive, according to U.S. immigration and customs officials. The facility has approximately 260 inmates.

Buffalo News reports that U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo is asking the facility to come up with a plan to immunize inmates who would otherwise be eligible under state guidelines, such as those over 65 or in pain underlying health problems.

New York City Prisoners’ Legal Services, which has filed a lawsuit seeking coronavirus protections for inmates, said Vilardo’s order was the first of its kind in the country.

A lawyer for the organization said she was asking vulnerable detainees to be able to join the vaccination line, not skip it.

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