After seven months of investigation, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a file final report And responsible Warning notice To GEO Group (GEO) for multiple violations in response to their misuse of Toxic pesticide HDQ is neutral Inside Adelanto Prison (Adelanto). An EPA investigation found that GEO, the private prison company that runs Adelanto and more Another 30 immigration detention centers Across the United States, GEO personnel and detainees were instructed to administer HDQ Neutral without proper ventilation, multiple times a day. The ingredients in HDQ is neutral It has been linked to asthma, infertility, birth defects, and other respiratory and reproductive system damage. One of the active ingredients in HDQ Neutral can damage human DNA.
The EPA based its report on interviews with GEO employees and immigrants held in Adelanto, which can hold up to 2,000 migrants per day and is located in the desert north of San Bernardino, California. The EPA found GEO liable for violating six different provisions of the neutral HDQ pesticide label, which had been applied multiple times a day over a period of nine years. This amounts to an unspecified, but potentially tens of thousands, number of individual violations during that period in September 2020, California District Court. Command For GEO to immediately stop using HDQ Neutral due to the potential threat of the pesticide.
Immigrants who participated in the HDQ Neutral “volunteer” program were given in 32-ounce spray bottles and mop buckets, often without safety labels or instructions attached, without having to wear the necessary protective equipment when handling industrial pesticides. Only one pair of glasses was provided for all of the detained workers in each unit. The Global Environment Outlook supported two separate sets of requirements for personal protective equipment, depending on whether its personnel or those in custody were the ones using the toxic pesticide.
The Environmental Protection Agency also said that GEO did not properly dilute HDQ Neutral and exposed the detained migrants to a mixture that was twice as concentrated as the label allows. Responding to EPA inspector’s concerns about the practice, Geo said the label allows for a more concentrated mixture of neutral HDQ for “animal disinfectants or pesticide uses for animal viruses.” When the Environmental Protection Agency asked him about reports of negative health impacts on detained individuals or policies when individuals fell ill, the Global Environment Office declined to answer.
“This report confirms what detainees have known for so long – that Geo does not care about the health and safety of the migrants,” the Adelanto Lockdown Coalition said. But more than that, they do not consider immigrants to be human. There is no fix possible when we start the conversation with an argument about the basic humanity of a group of people. This is disgusting and heartbreaking. “
For years, the facility in Adelanto has faced intense pressure from local and national advocates due to inhuman detention practices, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, President Biden signed an executive order to abolish private prisons. However, this does not apply to immigration detention facilities, which are under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security.
Geo’s responses to this investigation are shocking, and these persistent failures have created conditions that make it impossible to keep detainees safe. Conditions in immigration detention facilities, such as Adelanto, are not safe and inhuman and cannot be allowed to continue working. The US government continues to demonstrate blatant disregard for detainees’ health, including Forced sterilizationAnd the Uncontrolled COVID-19 outbreakAnd the Sexual violence And the Attempting to build other facilities on highly toxic Superfund sites. The Earthjustice Coalition and Shut Down Adelanto are calling for the immediate release of all those held in immigration facilities.
The Shut Down Adelanto coalition consists of the Internal Migrant Justice Coalition, the Immigrant Human Rights Coalition, Religious and Secular Clerics United for Economic Justice, the Detention Monitor Network, Migrant Freedom, the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, the Speranza Immigrant Rights Project, Nikkei Progressives and Earthjustice , Among others.
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