Theresa Cheng Calls for Decarceration amid ICE’s Failures on COVID

Theresa Cheng (’21), current Fellow with Bay Area Legal Aid and clinical instructor-physician in emergency medicine at the University of California San Francisco, published an opinion in the San Francisco Chronicle spotlighting the ongoing public health threat as ICE fails to provide a coordinated national vaccination plan and ensure basic protections for immigrants in its custody (“COVID Is Racing through Immigration Detention Centers — And It’s Putting the Entire Country at Risk,” Feb. 8). “Studies have shown that decarceration is extremely effective at reducing disease burden and transmission. At the same time, groundbreaking settlements hold ICE and its private-prison contractors accountable, paving the way to humane precedents that detention facilities across the country should follow. If detention centers and other such carceral facilities don’t decarcerate, they will continue to serve as kindling to public health wildfires like COVID.”