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Detention Dispatches: COVID-19 cases continues to grow at the Otay Mesa Detention Center

Guest: Anthony Alexandre, a detainee at the Otay Mesa Detention Center.




The number of detainees infected by COVID-19 continues to grow at the Otay Mesa Detention Center. On ICE’s website the number of infected detainees at Otay Mesa is listed as 149, the highest known in the country’s sprawling network of immigrant detention facilities. The San Diego Union Tribune reported earlier this week that 150 ICE detainees had tested positive for the virus and 67 U.S. Marshals Service inmates tested positive as well, bringing the total to 217 infected detainees at Otay Mesa. CoreCivic is the private company that operates the center for ICE and also holds detainees for the U.S. Marshals service.

We continue our conversation with Anthony Alexandre, a detainee at Otay Mesa. He is also one of the organizers of the various hunger strikes that have happened at the detention center. As of May 11, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties stated that about 70 medically vulnerable ICE detainees had been released from Otay Mesa, but according to Alexandre, the conditions at the detention center remain almost the same.  

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