Asylum-seeking households nonetheless detained by ICE face the twin menace of viruses and deportation
Margarita, who sought asylum in the USA after fleeing Guatemala, compared the medical appendix in Dilley with the freezing, inhuman border facilities in which migrants are initially held after crossing the border. "Even while I'm freezing and feeling like I'm back in the Hielera, [Sal] is burning with a fever," she told The Fuller Project. And the medical appendix just seems to be in the name. "I keep asking about medication and no one is going to bring it to us," she continued.
Dilley already has a history of child abuse: next May it will be three years since a toddler died in prison after being incarcerated. As a testimony of the Congress in July 2019 asylum seekers Yazmin Juárez described how officials consistently failed to provide adequate medical treatment when her daughter, Mariee, who was nearly two years old, fell ill while in custody. "I immediately noticed how many sick children there were – and no effort was made to separate the sick from the healthy," she said.
Juarez and Mariee were eventually released, but it was already too late for the girl and she died in a hospital after returning to her family in New Jersey. "I'm here today because I don't want another little angel like my Mariee to suffer," she told the legislature. "I don't want other mothers and fathers to lose their children. In this great country, making sure the young children you imprison don't die of abuse and neglect can't be so difficult."
"The ongoing incarceration, constant risk of developing COVID-19, and the likelihood of dying there are of great concern to these women," the family lawyer Nora Picasso told The Fuller Project. "It's not just their concern for themselves, but … those they love most."
Dozens of children and parents in Dilley and another immigrant family prison in Pennsylvania remain at risk not only because of COVID-19, but also because ICE attempted to deport them, despite the horrific ban originally preventing them from seeking asylum were thrown in court. “On Thanksgiving night, an appeals court issued a DC temporary stay of distance for 28 children and their parents in Dilley and the Pennsylvania facilities until a final decision is made on their case, ”the report continued.
But on Monday, Amy Maldonado, an attorney in a lawsuit against the federal government, tweeted: “[d] The District of Columbia Court of Appeals cleared the move for our families. There is no # SafetyForThe28. They can be removed immediately ”on December 15th. At the time of publication, the families appear to be still in the United States. Remember and keep repeating that none of this has to happen. ICE has always had the power to jointly release families as they pursue their cases.