Not Enough Bullets

People being detained at a privately run detention center were told that they would not be given masks unless they signed away all rights to sue.

This is despicable:

Detainees at Otay Mesa Detention Center had been asking for more protection from the COVID-19 pandemic all week, when a shipment of surgical masks arrived at the facility on Friday.

The women of “A pod” would finally be able to ditch their own constructions made from rubber bands, panty liners and cut up shirts for proper masks.

But by that afternoon, the mood quickly changed from excitement to anger, according to Briseida Salazar, a 23-year-old in the unit, which houses immigration detainees.


The new surgical masks arrived Friday, but they initially came with conditions, according to Salazar.

Salazar’s account of what happened when the masks arrived is corroborated by a signed declaration from San Diego attorney Anna Hysell, whose client called her immediately after it happened, as well as messages from other attorneys who heard similar stories from their clients.

Before the masks were to be distributed, the unit manager handed the women contracts written in English, telling them they would have to sign in order to get masks.

Most of the women in the unit do not speak English, Salazar said. Having grown up in the United States, she is one of the few who do.

The document, as read over the phone to the Union-Tribune, included a section saying that detainees agree to “hold harmless” CoreCivic and its agents and employees “from any and all claims that I may have related directly to my wearing the face mask.”

When the unit manager began to verbally translate the document into Spanish, one of the bilingual detainees noticed that she skipped the “hold harmless” section in her translation. She pointed that out to the other detainees, and they became angry.


The unit manager reiterated that they would not be given masks without signing, Salazar said.

Every person behind this should have been drowned at birth.

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