‘Blatant disregard shown for human rights’: ICE detainees plead for release following COVID-19 death

The detained men say that Escobar Mejia, who died at a National City hospital on May 6, had been complaining to facility staff about not feeling well for as long as four weeks. ”Not until Mr. Escobar was so sick that he could not get up and was laying in his bunk after throwing up in his trash can did they finally decide to move him out of M pod,” they wrote. “Now instead of taking him straight to the hospital knowing he was diabetic and at higher risk, they took him next door to L pod where all the COVID-19 positive and sick individuals were at.”

“Finally, when he could no longer breathe he was taken to the hospital,” they say in the letter addressed to Rep. Juan Vargas, Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein. “By this time, too much time had been wasted and it was too late.” 

This incompetence by officials is further corroborated by another recent report from The San Diego Union-Tribune, which said that Escobar Mejia had actually been on a court-mandated list of particularly vulnerable detainees who could have been released to their families and communities amid the pandemic, but by then it was too late, because he’d already been hospitalized. “That goes to show you that the people who administrate and run this facility, are not apt to do so,” the men write about the lack of concern around sick detainees.

Escobar Mejia’s sister Rosa has similarly slammed the inhumane conditions that only increased the pain and suffering of her brother’s final hours. “These facilities don’t care about the people or the facts of their lives,” she told The Guardian. “These are private institutions making money off of immigrants.” She told said there’s nothing she can do anymore to try to save her brother, but others who are at risk right now—like the men from the letter and detainees from all over the U.S.—can be still be helped. “I can’t get Carlos back, but [ICE] can save other people’s lives, including their employees,” she continued to The Guardian.

It needs to be repeated like a broken record that ICE has every power to release detainees today, but not only refuses to release larger numbers, but has also now leveraging the pandemic to reescalate family separation among parents and kids detained at migrant family jails. The cruelty is the point, and the cruelty is killing.

“Lastly, we would like to add that due to the gross negligence and blatant disregard for human life shown by Core Civic and its medical staff, fellow detainee, and to many of us, friend, Mr. Carlos Escobar Mejia is now dead,” the detainees said. “This is a cry for help. Please allow us to go home on humanitarian ground and fight our cases from our homes with our families where we are safe.”

Source: http://feeds.dailykosmedia.com/~r/dailykosofficial/~3/pG8rFUokCW0/–Blatant-disregard-shown-for-human-rights-ICE-detainees-plead-for-release-following-COVID-19-death