In the ICE detention center in Adelanto, California, the imprisoned are getting sick
-- and it's not from COVID-19. Their symptoms are bloody noses. They're coughing up blood, too, and suffering from head and body aches.
Their eyes are burning and they're breaking out into terribly painful skin reactions
. Ironically, the cause of all of this suffering is what employees at the facility claim is actually saving detainees from COVID-19 -- a powerful, and harmful, disinfectant called HDQ Neutral.Sign the petition today if you want the ICE Adelanto Detention Center to immediately stop the use of HDQ Neutral, which is suffocating and poisoning those who are imprisoned and cannot escape!
This is not the first time that the group who runs this ICE detention center, GEO Group Inc., have been accused of inhumane treatment or poor conditions
within their facilities. In 2017, the group was found to have violated antislavery laws when they made detainees in a Colorado facility perform labor for less than a dollar per day, or often nothing.
Inmates in many of the facilities over the years have attempted to organize
in protest of poor conditions and overcrowding. Most recently, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company's ICE detention centers and correctional facilities have failed to properly protect the imprisoned from the deadly virus.
But now, the ICE facility in Adelanto has performed a cruel 180. It was previously reported that they were using only water to clean the detention center.
Now they are using dangerously powerful disinfectant HDQ Neutral in what seems to be deliberate excess.
The disinfectant's safety warnings include "harmful if inhaled," "causes severe burns and serious eye damage,"
and the instructions say to only use it outdoors or in extremely well-ventilated areas. It's so poisonous that the label says to use heavy protective gear like gloves and goggles when using it.
Instead, employees are spraying this poison everywhere -- where detainees sleep, eat, and bath -- as many as 50 times a day.
Those who fall sick are not given medical attention beyond a cream for skin burns. One detainee was reported to have fainted from the fumes -- they were taken away and fellow detainees haven't seen them since.This is a human rights violation.
Those imprisoned within these facilities are men, women, and children who crossed the border to flee from violence, reunite with family, search out opportunity. The "crime" of crossing the border is a misdemeanor, comparable to a traffic ticket. Under the Trump administration, ICE and its detention centers have become nothing but tools of oppression,
morphing into labor camps or prisons with high rates of abuse and violence. These noxious chemicals and fumes choking and burning detainees that cannot escape is just another example.
The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a harsh light on conditions within the detention centers through the U.S. Now is the time for change. Sign the petition to demand that GEO Group Inc. immediately stop the use of HDQ Neutral, which is an inhumane and intolerable response to the spread of the coronavirus!