For our latest video, we spoke with Charles Joseph from the Island of Fiji, Asif Qazi from Bangladesh, and other people in the Mesa Verde detention center about their fight for their safety and health during this pandemic.
COVID-19 has reached immigration detention centers across the country. Thousands are infected, many have died, and many more are at risk. From the very beginning of the crisis, immigrants at the Mesa Verde detention center have vocally demanded better protections from the private prison company that runs their facility.
Conditions inside Mesa Verde are terrible. No liquid soap or paper towels, just bars of soap shared by a hundred men. No cleaning supplies, except those bought by the detainees themselves at the Detention Center’s commissary. They live in cramped and crowded living conditions, sleeping in bunk beds that are only a few feet apart. The list goes on and on.
To protest these conditions, the detainees staged sit-ins, went on hunger strikes, and released videos to their supporters and local media. No one needs to be in ICE detention as they await their case to work through the courts. Forcing people to remain there during the coronavirus pandemic is cruel and inhumane.