The family of a Latino father of three is worried that his health condition will worsen if he remains in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.
The family has been voicing concerns for nearly a month, and assisted by the immigrant rights group Make The Road New York, has been calling for his immediate release from detention and for his deportation to be stayed.
Their calls intensified this week after Edward Alonso-Castillo, 48, a small-business owner in New York City who has a standing order of removal against him following several charges, was hospitalized with severe chest pains while in ICE custody.
According to Make The Road New York, he has reported feeling some of the symptoms he experienced a few years ago when he had a stroke.
Alonso-Castillo wears a cardiac monitor and has been experiencing severe headaches and other symptoms while in detention. A recent medical review of his records concluded that he is “at high risk of health complications including another stroke, blood clots and even death” if he doesn’t get the care he needs, according to Make The Road New York.
A doctor concluded that he has not received the specialized care he needs at the jail where he is detained and that he should be released immediately to seek urgent medical care, Make The Road New York said in a statement. He is also at high risk of suffering severe complications from Covid-19 due to his underlying conditions.
“He’s currently hospitalized right now,” Luba Cortes, an immigrant defense coordinator at Make The Road New York, told NBC News. “This is obviously a person that should not be in a detention center.”
“Every day that Alonso spends detained puts his life at greater risk,” his partner, Rocio Molina, said in a statement. “For the last month, we have been worried about his health and want him to come home where he belongs so that he can get the medical attention that he desperately needs.”
Alonso-Castillo first came to the United States as a teenager. He and Molina now co-own Babylon Bagel, a small business in Long Island.
The family and Make the Road said that at the height of the pandemic, Alonso-Castillo and Molina donated food to essential workers and hospitals across Long Island. They have also given out free food to immigrants who, like themselves, did not qualify for federal aid.
Immigration officers in New York arrested Alonso-Castillo when he was on his way to work Jan. 28 for being “unlawfully present” in the U.S., according to an ICE spokesperson.
Alonso-Castillo is currently in custody at the Orange County Jail in Goshen, New York. The county jail is one of three in the New York City area with an intergovernmental service agreement that allows them to confine people in removal proceedings, according to the civil rights organization New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.
The group recently found that New York City-area jails with ICE contracts, including the Orange County Jail, “routinely deny vital medical treatment to people in detention who have serious health conditions, delay specialist care and surgery, ignore complaints, fail to treat chronic conditions, fail to keep medical records up to standards, and refuse basic health-related items,” according to a recent report.
ICE said it could not comment on issues related to Alonso-Castillo’s health.