Since Coronavirus started, we have learned about social distancing, proper disinfection, and other ways to prevent the spread of the virus. However, not everyone has the ability to stay home and keep a six-foot distance between them and all other people. Prisons, for example, have become breeding grounds for COVID-19. Inmates are in close-quarters, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers are mostly banned. David E. Patton, head of the federal public defender’s office in New York City, stated that “By keeping more people in the jails, you are increasing the overall number of people who contract the virus,” and thereby also the increase the need for hospital beds and ventilators. A similar occurrence is taking place in ICE detention centers around the country.

There have been many horror stories about the conditions and treatment within ICE detention centers, but with the spread of Coronavirus, things have only gotten worse. People sleep in packed dormitories, eat in crowded cafeterias, and use communal bathrooms. In the ICE Adelanto Detention Center, agents initially took very few safety measures and only cleaned with water, but now they are spraying HDQ Neutral every thirty minutes. HDQ Neutral is an extremely powerful disinfectant that, according to the company’s safety sheet, should be used “only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.”  However, guards are spraying the disinfectant everywhere, despite most spaces being unventilated.

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There have been multiple accounts of people having nose bleeds, coughing up blood, developing rashes, and experiencing sensation on their eyes. The HDQ Neutral safety sheet recommends that people should wear protective gear when around the disinfectant and if they get it on their eyes and skin or inhale it, they should “IMMEDIATELY CALL A POISON CENTER OR PHYSICIAN.” Sign this petition to demand that the ICE Adelanto Detention Center stop poisoning detainees with HDQ Neutral.

 

To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:

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