Protesters call for release of immigrants at Otay Mesa Detention Center


SAN DIEGO — About 100 protesters gathered Saturday in front of the County Administration building at San Diego’s Waterfront Park to demand the closure of the Otay Mesa Detention Center.

They called for the release of undocumented immigrants housed there as part of a “National Day of Action” advocating for immigrants’ rights.

“Right now during COVID-19, detaining them is incredibly dangerous and allows for unmitigated spread of the disease,” protester Amber Decilap said.

Decilap lives in Chula Vista. She joined Free Them All San Diego, a coalition of immigration rights groups, as they raised their voices in solidarity with protests across the country.

They are part of what she calls a massive movement advocating for the rights of all marginalized communities.

“Everybody’s rights need to be fought for right now,” Decilap said. “There are people here that I’ve seen at Black Lives Matter protests … It’s the workers’ rights now, whose lives are being sacrificed in order to sustain the economy during COVID.”

San Diego protesters focused on the closure of the Otay Mesa Detention Center. Decilap said their mission is even bigger.

“ICE needs to be abolished. It hasn’t been around forever like some people may believe,” she said. “It’s only existed since 9/11. It doesn’t need to exist for the security of our country. In fact, it’s putting our immigrants’ lives in danger.”

Decilap and other protesters say they won’t be silenced any time soon.

“The revolution will not stop just because it receives less television [attention],” she said.

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