Friday, October 18, 2019

Asylum Seekers In ICE Detention Planning Mass Suicide


So, the thing I feared would happen happened. We stopped talking about the concentration camps. They absolutely still exist. A couple were closed down as far as I've heard but there are still dozens across the country and people are still dying in them. I don't know that much if anything was done about the conditions in the facilities visited by liberal politicians months ago. The news on them has dried up, at least in mainstream outlets.

Maybe it's just inevitable. How long can humans keep looking at something so horrible before they can't stand it anymore? Focusing so much on these atrocities was absolutely hard on my mental health. As much as I wanted to keep writing about concentration camps, yelling about them, reminding people daily of their existence, I stopped. I was overwhelmed by feeling helpless, like I should just say "fuck it" and spend all my money to travel somewhere, risk arrest by, doing what? Attacking the facility? Protesting peacefully even though I know it wouldn't do anything?

The fact is that until we can get mass amounts of people to march on the camps, closing them will be at best a slow process and more will be built as long as Trump is in office. I was unable to rile up enough people. We all failed to capitalize on the temporary public attention and outrage. I don't know what to say.

One thing I can do now, today, is to remind you once again that these human atrocities never went away. Things haven't gotten better, and now it's so bad that detainees are planning a mass suicide. Two have already attempted, and one man has died by suicide in detention.

BREAKING: Two asylees attempt suicide, others threaten mass action in New Mexico ICE detention facility

This week, two Cuban asylum seekers detained at the Otero County Processing Center (OCPC) slit their wrists and at least 19 others are planning on doing so in an act of mass resistance. Conditions and rights violations at OCPC have become so untenable that many view this drastic step as their only option to bring about change. The two men are in medical care, others have been placed in solitary confinement, and the situation is escalating.

A judge ruled that ICE needed to start releasing asylum seekers on parole while their cases were pending again, as they did pre-Trump, but since that ruling over a year ago, ICE has defied the judge by keeping these refugees detained for many months.

People are about to die. One already has.

The news of potential suicide attempts from Cuban asylum seekers comes the same week as Roylan Hernandez-Diaz, a 43-year-old asylum seeker from Cuba, died of an apparent suicide at the Richwood Correctional Center in Louisiana. As reported in Buzzfeed News, his widow claims he had just begun a hunger strike after passing his credible fear interview, then having his request to be paroled — released to his wife — denied.

I know a lot of shit is happening and it's so hard to look at this but please, at least spread this on social media. Human beings are ready to kill themselves en masse if we don't help them.

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