Documentary shows toll of immigration policies during COVID-19 pandemic

A new 30-minute documentary, broadcast by New York University’s Inside Lens, examines the federal government’s practice of detaining asylum seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The film tells the stories of Celeste and Maria, two undocumented women who endured COVID-19 and who reported human rights abuses while detained at Otay Mesa detention center in San Diego, California. With support from the Fund, William Martin and Enrique Unzueta chronicle the public outcry over the 21 asylum seekers who died in 2020 due to COVID-19 or medical negligence while detained in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. Through Celeste and Maria’s experiences, the film reveals dangerous conditions and ongoing legal limbo immigrants face.