“We feel forgotten”: Detainees face horrid carceral conditions amid COVID-19

Democracy Now!

May 27, 2020

As the coronavirus continues to rip across the U.S., prisoners nationwide have been staging protests and speaking out about their conditions to reporters like The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux, who reported on how ICE detainee Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia suffered horrifying neglect in San Diego’s Otay Mesa Detention Center before passing away earlier this month. Calls are mounting for ICE to release people from detention during the pandemic. “The population that we are talking about are folks being held on civil immigration violations — they’re not being held for violating criminal law. They’re not serving criminal sentences,” says Devereaux. “The government could release these people at any time if it wanted to. It is choosing to continue to hold tens of thousands of people in jails.”

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