Posted on September 9, 2019

11 Migrants at San Diego Immigration Detention Center Tested Positive for Mumps

Gustavo Solis, San Diego Union-Tribune, September 5, 2019

Eleven men tested positive for mumps at the Otay Mesa Detention Center this summer, according to the federal agency tasked with overseeing the privately-run immigration detention center.

The detention center in southern San Diego has enough capacity for nearly 2,000 men with pending immigration court cases. Between June and August, 11 detainees tested positive for the contagious virus. Two other detainees were tested during that time but their results were negative, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


The agency noted that they have experienced a recent influx of migrants entering the United States from the southern border. While each person detained in the facility receives a medical examination upon arrival, ICE has no way of knowing what viruses a person may have been exposed to before they were detained.


Whenever someone in the facility is suspected of having mumps, staff quarantine their entire residential unit during the 12-to-25-day incubation period. Those residential units are made up of 28 people.

While detainees with pending immigration court cases are quarantined they cannot have face-to-face contact with their lawyers.

However, lawyers are able to schedule video conferences with their clients. Detainees who have cell phones are also able to call their attorneys from their residential units.