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Monday, June 29, 2020

Castro, Cuellar Among Three Congress Members Exposed to COVID-19 at Detention Site

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 2:09 PM

click to enlarge U.S. Reps. Sylvia Garcia (left) and Joaquin Castro stand outside of the ICE detention scenter in Dilley. - TWITTER / @REPSYLVIAGARCIA
  • Twitter / @RepSylviaGarcia
  • U.S. Reps. Sylvia Garcia (left) and Joaquin Castro stand outside of the ICE detention scenter in Dilley.
Three members of Texas' congressional delegation were potentially exposed to COVID-19 during a tour of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement site near San Antonio last Monday, the Texas Tribune reports.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro and Henry Cuellar, both of whom represent San Antonio, and Sylvia Garcia of Houston were exposed to an ICE staff member at the immigrant detention in Dilley who tested positive for the virus three days after their visit.

Since then, all three House members have tested negative.

"While the employee wore a mask for the entire duration of the visit and maintained the minimum social distancing of six feet, out of an abundance of caution, I'm providing notification to you can share it with the appropriate member offices and Hill personnel," ICE official Sean Hackbarth wrote to a Congressional Hispanic Caucus staffer on Friday, according to the Tribune.

The employee walked around with the members of Congress during their tour of the facility, located an hour southwest of San Antonio, but didn't have direct contact or converse with them, Hackbarth added.

Castro, Cuellar and Garcia were touring the privately operated detention center to draw attention to the COVID-19 risks faced by immigrants housed there. As of June 21, a total of 47 detainees at the complex, operated by for-profit prison company Geo Group, had contracted COVID-19, authorities confirm.

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