We are proud to be endorsing "Ni Un Migrante Menos! Car Rally" that will be taking place at the Otay Mesa Detention Center.
The Armadillos Search and Rescue call for the support of the San Diego community in protesting the abuses of ICE Detention Centers. On Tuesday, May 10th, another life was tragically lost in these death-camps as ICE has taken no protections or precautions against the spread of COVID-19.
This is the 3rd death in ICE custody since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Join us in a Car Rally on Sunday, May 24th with your signs to urge ALL migrants be released from ALL ICE Detention Centers and ICE, as a governmental agency, to be defunded and abolished.
We should not stand idly by as immigrant siblings die!
All participants required to wear masks, even while in a car so as to avoid citation.
Printouts with instructions for police will be taped to all windows so as to avoid face to face contact with police who could be infected with Covid-19.
We are encouraging a non antagonistic approach so as not to put our community at risk.
We are excited to share a preview of how the expansion at Roca de Salvacion migrant shelter is coming along. We were able to fund this addition to the shelter so that families may have more space. As the pandemic becomes more emergent in Tijuana, a space for inhabitants of the shelter so self-isolate. As you can see the first rooms are being finished, the floors, ceilings and windows are done and only need tile to be added. The hardest parts are nearly completed such as the plumbing, and even wheelchair friendly bathrooms. Thank you to Pastor Salvador for the update and we look forward to seeing the finished product!
Extreme heat with humidity can make for a dangerous combination. Saturday’s drop had our team in temperatures from 100° to 110°.
One group found consumed supplies we have left out, and a lot of evidence of migration passing through this corridor. Supplies were replenished and we will follow up on this area shortly.
Our other group scouted canyon exit points from another major corridor, and found some fresh signs of travel, as well as our supplies consumed that were left miles away.
We have the luxury of being well fed, rested, and hydrated before heading to the desert. We hike with the knowledge that we are safe and the privilege to be able to call for help if necessary. We are never truly alone. We hike with abundant water, electrolytes, air conditioned cars waiting for us with ice chests full to cool us off....and still it is difficult.
Every single year we learn more about how little we know about the true journey of desert migration and gain even more respect for the mission at hand. Every year we see signs of people being pushed further and further in already unimaginable circumstances.
Despite a deadly global pandemic and their practices having already funneled thousands to their death in the desert, Border Patrol remains in the desert, mountains, and checkpoints ensuring that those seeking safety must travel exponentially longer distances in dangerous conditions.
Apprehensions, detention, deportations, all these practices persists despite the risks to everyone involved and we expect they will continue regardless of how long this particular crisis lasts and how much death and danger results. Which is why we have not, and will never leave the desert. As long as people are crossing through, we’ll be there.
Border Angels has learned that Chuong Won Ahn, a 74 year old man, has died by suicide in ICE custody while imprisoned at the Mesa Verde Detention Center in Bakersfield. His attorneys’ pleas for release were denied despite him being at extremely high risk as he had diabetes, hypertension, and other heart related issues. According to the ACLU, suicides in ICE detention have increased at alarming rates during this administration. We are saddened, and angered to continue seeing our folks die in detention, knowing it can be prevented.
This COVID related tragedy is further evidence of ICE's inhumane treatment of immigrants in its care and custody. Once again, ICE refuses to honor it's legal and moral duties to those it detained, when they have abundance of alternatives to keeping immigrants in detention. ICE instead chooses to house hundreds of immigrants in close quarters - a veritable breeding grounds for COVID!
It is heartbreaking and devastating that this person’s last moments were in ICE custody.
This is the third death we have learned about since the start of this pandemic, we must not be silent and act now before we continue losing our folks in detention. We urge you to help us act now and support out Familias Reunidas Bond Program. It is critical we free as many people as possible but we need your help! We will not stop, we want our people #FreeAndAlive !
We work together, because the reality is that crossing through the desert does not always end on a positive note.
We get out there and leave supplies in areas we see migration occuring. Unfortunately, the U.S./Mexico border is long, and covering all of the border is impossible.
Armadillos go out and search when there are reports of people who have been left behind, unable to continue, or missing. They go out once a month, for a weekend at a time. Sun-up to sundown.
Armadillos busqueda y rescate are headed out again this weekend on a couple of cases. We wish you the best this weekend, and thank you for your constant support of Border Angels, and helping out with our Water Drops.
Border Angels has learned that Oscar Lopez Acosta, a migrant father and loving husband from Honduras, has died one week after his release from ICE custody at the Morrow County Correctional Facility in Ohio. The individuals at this detention center face life threatening conditions, as 50 of the 79 ICE Detainees have tested positive for COVID-19. Oscar was released due to being high-risk for being diabetic. Unfortunately, the release came much too late after being held in detention for 18 months at this facility for a minor car crash with absolutely no criminal history.
This COVID related death is further evidence of ICE's inhumane treatment of immigrants in its care and custody. It's a universal principal that government sanctioned institutions have a legal and moral duty to protect the lives and of all persons in their custody. But time and time again ICE refuses to honor it's legal and moral duties to those it detains.
The grotesque truth is that this death, like others, was 100% preventable. ICE has an abundance of alternatives to keeping immigrants in detention. Please do not remain silent while these injustices happen, we want our people #FreeAndAlive! Oscar Lopez Acosta, may he Rest In Peace
With your help we have been able to provide washers and dryers for our friends at some shelters in Tijuana. Washing and sanitizing clothes, blankets and even stuffed animals is crucial in order to maintain health and safety within shelters. Especially since practicing social distancing is nearly impossible in a shelter. Many shelters are having to wash their clothes by hand to get by.
Any amount of donation is helpful and appreciated so we can continue helping and making a difference!
We are so excited to be back doing Day Laborer Outreach again! Like the rest of our programs, we are always concerned with the safety of our migrant community first. We applied the practices of social distancing and using a team of only experienced leaders to ensure we help our day laborers, but we don’t expose such a valuable and important population.
Today we share with you one more story and picture of one of the recipients from our Families Reunidas Bond Program, Elias. This young man was finally released from the Otay Mesa Detention Center, and was able to play piano and drink wine and talk until his family was able to pick him up, and have a bit of joy and normalcy after everything he had been subject to.
Elias is a nurse and a political activist fleeing persecution by the Venezuelan government, only to find his life was not safe in Colombia either, he set out for Mexico to apply for asylum to the U.S. one year ago. From that point until now, he was subjected to a combination of racist policies and the worst luck ever. He was forced to wait in Mexico pursuant to this administration’s illegal “metering” policy, and then under the despicable Migrant “Protection” Protocols (MPP). He got an immigration judge who is notorious for denying asylum, and after his final court he was taken to “las hieleras”/“iceboxes”(tiny, crowded, and freezing holding rooms) only to end up detained in Otay Mesa. He then got a deportation officer who, after two months of me asking about the status of our parole request, told us she never received it. It took filing a habeas petition in federal court to get an unaffordable bond amount of $15,000. ICE refused to reduce the amount and federal judges refuse to release healthy people from Otay Mesa despite COVID multiplying from 1 case to over 100 cases in only a month.
Today, Elias’ luck changed. He was released because of the relentless work of San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and our Border Angels team. We are incredibly thankful to all of you have shared and supported our program, and to board and program committee member Kirsten Zittlau for all of her hard work in this case, because as she said, “It takes not only a village these days, it takes a community.”
Let this story serve as a reminder of all the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and community members waiting in such conditions in detention, simply for seeking a place or a part in this country. Elias represents so many others being subject to racist and inhumane policies, and we must not forget the urgency of getting everyone we can out of the Otay Mesa Detention Center. This pandemic continues to be unforgiving, and we will not allow any more lives lost. Again, we thank you for your support and ask you to continue to help us make sure our folks are #FreeAndAlive.