First Demise Of Detainee In An ICE Detention Center From COVID-19

An immigration detainee has died of COVID-19 at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego.

Elliot Spagat/AP

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Elliot Spagat/AP

An immigration detainee has died of COVID-19 at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego.

Elliot Spagat/AP

A 57-One year-frail Salvadoran man who became held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in California died from COVID-19 on Wednesday. It’s some distance the major confirmed death from the disease of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee in an ICE detention heart. Carlos Escobar-Mejia had been in ICE custody since Jan. 10, when he became stopped in a automobile by the Border Patrol in Chula Vista. Sooner than then, he had been residing in the US for 40 years. He became denied bond by an immigration court docket declare on April 15, because he became conception of as a “flight possibility.” By that time, several staff and detainees at Otay Mesa had already examined particular for COVID-19. Escobar-Mejia became on a record that a federal declare final week ordered ICE to compile of those conception of as medically inclined and eligible for rapid release. But by the level the record became compiled, Escobar-Mejia became already hospitalized. He died early Wednesday at Paradise Valley Hospital in Nationwide Metropolis, Calif. “Irrespective of what the executive might per chance presumably well affirm, and despite what the executive did on this case, immigration detention is civil detention. Or no longer it is no longer major, and it need to salvage no longer in any respect been a death sentence for this person,” stated Monika Langarica, an lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties. Final month, the ACLU sued ICE in federal court docket for the discharge of medically inclined detainees at the detention heart. The ACLU has been pushing ICE to expedite its release of detainees at Otay Mesa. But as of Monday, handiest two detainees deemed medically inclined had been released from the detention heart. A standing listening to in the case is build of residing for Friday. In an announcement on Escobar-Mejia’s death, ICE wrote that the agency “is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is endeavor a comprehensive agency-wide overview of this incident, as it does in all such circumstances.” As of Thursday morning, there are 140 confirmed circumstances at the power, which is keeping 629 ICE detainees. Otay Mesa has no longer permitted fresh ICE detainees since April 2. CoreCivic, the non-public company that runs the power, has stated it has adopted CDC guidelines and protocols for containing the spread of the virus. But detainees there salvage complained of no longer being given enough scheme to “socially distance” interior the power or protective gadgets adore trim masks to end the spread of the disease. Several salvage launched starvation strikes to drawl their stipulations. CoreCivic initially requested detainees to signal waivers in change for masks. The waivers freed the corporate from authorized responsibility if they were to contract COVID-19 while carrying a conceal. After several detainees refused to signal, CoreCivic stopped requiring detainees to signal the waiver. Final month, activists and advocates delivered hundreds of masks to the detention heart to encourage defend detainees. ICE didn’t gather the donations.

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