#FreeJesusEnrique! Demand His Release From Detention So He Can Get The Care That He Needs!

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HIV-POSITIVE ASYLUM SEEKER WENT ON HUNGER STRIKE TO DEMAND IMPROVED MEDICAL CARE AND RELEASE FROM DETENTION

  • After repeated requests for critical medical care and release from detention, Jesus Enrique Rodriguez Mendoza, a gay man who is HIV positive, went on a hunger strike for a week protesting the inhumane treatment, abuses and egregious incompetency in handling his medical conditions at the ICE-run El Paso Processing Center (EPPC).
  • Fearing for his safety in his native country of Venezuela, Mr. Rodriguez Mendoza fled to a United States port of entry where he requested asylum. From there, he was sent to the EPPC, where he has now been detained for over seven months, with periods in solitary confinement. He is tired of having all agency stripped from him by ICE.
  • Despite immediately alerting detention center staff of his HIV-positive status and requesting antiretroviral therapy, Mr. Rodriguez Mendoza was denied much-needed medical treatment for over two months. While in detention, Mr. Rodriguez Mendoza’s medical condition has significantly deteriorated. He reports depression, mouth sores, tooth and gum infections, as well as intense stomach pain resulting from an antibiotic he was prescribed. Furthermore, ICE has yet to comply with his requests for standard follow-up viral load and CD4 cell count testing.
  • Mr. Rodriguez Mendoza, who speaks English fluently and has in the past resided legally in the United States and the United Kingdom, personally filed over 25 requests to meet with an ICE officer to make his case for release from detention. He believes that outside of detention, he will be able to better monitor his condition and access specialized health care.

Mr. Rodriguez Mendoza was on hunger strike from Friday, December 1-December 6th. And due to health reasons has stopped.

  • Shruthi Rajashekara, M.D., analyzed his medical records from the detention center and determined that “his current mental health conditions are related to the stress overload from his experiences in detention,” and there is “a need for special consideration toward his new mental health diagnoses. Several studies suggest that HIV patients with depression experience worse outcomes and face a number of treatment challenges.”
  • Mr. Rodriguez Mendoza is represented by Linda Rivas, Executive Director and Managing Attorney at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center. Ms. Rivas is working in partnership with Las Americas and the Innovation Law Lab, to secure Mr. Rodriguez Mendoza’s release from detention.
  • In a recent call with ICE officials, Ms. Rivas was told that ICE cannot release a hunger striker, given that his health is declining and they will not release someone who is very sick. “ICE acknowledges my client is seriously ill, yet delaying critical medical testing and making arbitrary medication changes demonstrates they are not taking the necessary steps to improve his health,” Ms. Rivas remarked. “Every day he spends in detention places him at greater risk of irreparable damage from HIV-related complications. Jesus Enrique believes a hunger strike is his only hope of being heard.”

Jesus Enrique is a gay man with HIV. Now he is gravely ill and ICE refuses to release him and instead keeps him indefinitely detained. 

#FreeJesusEnrique #Justice4JesusEnrique #DontCriminalizeHIV #HealthcareIsAHumanRight #JesusEnriqueLibre

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El Paso Times News Articles

Release Statement

Call your Senators and Representative:

  1. IMPORTANT Call ICE at the El Paso Processing Center AT: (915) 856-5508  

Ask For/Leave Voicemail For:

Diane Witte: Deputy Field Office Director at the El Paso Field Office

Diane.L.Witte@ice.dhs.gov

Phone Script: "Hi, I am [your name] and I am calling to demand the immediate parole and release of Jesus Enrique Rodriguez Mendoza (A# 212 954 624). Jesus Enrique is an HIV-positive asylum seeker, and his health has worsened in the last months. His condition cannot be adequately treated while he is in detention. Jesus Enrique should be released immediately so he can receive proper treatment and continue to pursue his asylum claim.

Guión en Español: "Hola, me llamo [tu nombre] y estoy hablando para exigir que liberen inmediatamente a Jesus Enrique Rodriguez Mendoza (A# 212 954 624). Jesús Enrique está solicitando asilo y es VIH positivo. En los últimos meses, su salud ha estado deteriorando. Su condición médica no se puede atender de manera adecuada mientras esté detenido. Jesús Enrique debería ser liberado inmediatamente para que pueda recibir el tratamiento que necesita y para que pueda seguir con su caso de asilo.

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  • Después de múltiples solicitudes de atención médica crucial y de liberación de su detención, Jesús Enrique Rodríguez Mendoza, un hombre homosexual, VIH positivo, ha entrado en huelga de hambre para protestar la manera inhumana en que se le trata en El Paso Processing Center (EPPC), un centro de detención de ICE.
  • Temiendo por su vida en Venezuela, su país de nacimiento, el Sr. Rodriguez Mendoza huyó a un puerto de entrada de los Estados Unidos, donde pidió asilo. De ahí lo mandaron a EPPC, donde ha estado detenido durante más de siete meses, con varios periodos de aislamiento.
  • A pesar de haber alertado inmediatamente al personal del centro de detención sobre su estado VIH-positivo, y de haber pedido terapia anti-retroviral, al Sr. Rodriguez Mendoza se le ha negado este tratamiento médico que tanto necesita durante más de dos meses. En detención, el estado médico del Sr. Rodriguez Mendoza ha deteriorado. El reporta estar en estado de depresión, y tener llagas en la boca, infecciones en los dientes y las encías, además de dolor de estómago intenso, como consecuencia del antibiótico que se le recetó. Además, ICE sigue sin cumplir con su solicitud de revisiones médicas de rutina, como exámenes de carga viral y conteo de células CD4.
  • El Sr. Rodríguez Mendoza, quien habla inglés con fluidez y quien en el pasado ha residido legalmente en los Estados Unidos y en el Reino Unido, ha presentado más de 25 solicitudes para reunirse con un oficial de ICE para poder defender su argumento para ser liberado de detención. El cree que una vez fuera de detención podrá monitorear su condición mejor, y tendrá más acceso a cuidados médicos especializados.

El Sr. Rodríguez Mendoza inició su huelga de hambre el viernes, 1 de diciembre.

  • Shruthi Rajashekara, M.D., analizó sus registros médicos de parte del centro de detención y determinó que "su actual estado de salud mental está relacionado al exceso de estrés en consecuencia a su experiencia en detención,"y que "hay necesidad de que se considere especialmente su nuevo diagnóstico de salud mental." Varios estudios sugieren que los pacientes de VIH que sufren de depresión tienen peores resultados de salud y encuentran varios retos para su tratamiento.
  • Linda Rivas, Directora Ejecutiva y Abogada Directora de Las Americas, representa al Sr. Rodríguez Mendoza. La Licenciada Rivas trabaja en conjunto con Las Americas e Innovation Law Lab para lograr que al Sr. Rodríguez Mendoza se le libere de detención.
  • En una reciente llamada con oficiales de ICE, se le dijo a la Lcda. Rivas que ICE no puede liberar a alguien en huelga de hambre, ya que su salud está deteriorando y no pueden liberar a alguien que esté tan enfermo. "ICE está aceptando que mi cliente está enfermo de gravedad, pero el hecho de que están demorando exámenes médicos críticos y que haya cambios de medicamento arbitrarios demuestra que no están tomando las medidas necesarias para mejorar su salud," dijo la Lcda. Rivas. "Cada día que pasa detenido lo pone en un mayor riesgo de un daño irreparable por complicaciones relacionadas con el VIH. Jesús Enrique cree que una huelga de hambre es su única esperanza para que se le escuche."

Co-Sponsors:  Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, Innovation Law Lab, Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP), Detention Watch Network (DWN), Latino Rebels, Northwest Detention Center, GrassRoots Leadership, CIVIC, Immigrant Defense Project 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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