June 11, 2019

Contact: Waameeka AheVonderae,, (804) 362-8110


Mumps Outbreak reported at Farmville ICE facility


Elected Officials Must Do More to Protect Families and Children

in Unsanitary Detention Centers


Richmond, VA – Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect but conservative politicians are allowing harmful detention centers to unfairly harm immigrant families. Overcrowded and cramped living conditions may have aided in the spread of mumps throughout a Farmville Detention facility. Unsafe living conditions are unfair and harmful. VACIR, a collaborative of 34 organizations calls on elected officials to provide humane treatment of all residents, regardless of immigration status.

There have been 16 confirmed or suspected mumps cases at a Farmville Detention Center.  The Farmville Detention Center is a privately-run immigration detention facility and is considered to be the largest immigration detention center on the mid-Atlantic coast. According to an ICE spokesperson, any detainee who has been exposed to mumps has been separated from the general population of the facility, and will continue to be separated for 25 days.

“Back in 2008-2009, when Virginia residents organized against the then-proposed construction of the Farmville detention center, immigrants and allies pointed out the way private detention centers exacerbated the already poor health conditions inside US immigrant detention facilities. This outbreak is deeply concerning and I hope for the best and speediest recovery for those locked up.,” said Luis Oyolo, Community Organizer at Justice 4 All.


“Healthcare should be human right, and much of what undocumented immigrants endore is inhumane. With the poor living conditions that many detainees suffer it is not surprising that a mumps outbreak has happened. We will continue to fight for immigrant rights, and pray that this outbreak does not lead to another immigrant losing their life due to poor oversight while in ICE custody.” said Monica Sarmiento, Executive Director at the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights.