We are starting our week with some good news and want all of you to meet our latest Families Reunidas Bond Recipiant: Atzel. He is a Honduran asylum seeker who spent months inside the horrible Adelanto ICE Detention Center. Despite press and public outcry staff members at Adelanto ICE detention are STILL disinfecting the facility by spraying a hazardous chemical called HDQ Neutral. This chemical has been reported to cause bloody noses, burning eyes, coughing fits, nausea, and skin rashes.
Atzel is witness to guards in full PPE gear spraying this chemical on door handles, railings and tables constantly throughout the day. Not only that, several times an hour a guard would walk by spraying this toxic chemical, the guards even sprayed their beds. Atzel shared not only his horrible account of the dangerous chemicals being used inside this facility, he also spoke about the medical neglect, the rotten food, the undercooked meals, the lack of sanitation, the smells, and a lockdown where no meals were served for three days. Actions like these happen when we remain silent, and when we allow our migrant community to be dehumanized through language and racist policies. His stories are truly the stuff of nightmares, and still he remains a kind and hopeful individual. Atzel has now been reunited with his cousin and sponsor, and hopefully can begin to heal from the heartbreaking experiences this country’s laws have subject him to.
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. Atzel represents so many others being subject to these 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.