We have said it time and time again, the Adelanto facility and all immigrant detention facilities need to be shut down.
They are rife with human rights abuses, torturous conditions and, as they have clearly demonstrated this year, they have no regard for the health or well-being of immigrants.
Last week, ACLU Attorney Ahilan Arulanantham shared via tweet that Adelanto Detention Facility is facing another COVID-19 outbreak. This news comes only two weeks after a judge issued a reduction of the population at Adelanto Detention Facility forcing ICE to decrease its numbers due to the COVID outbreak, and the willful negligence ICE and for-profit detention facilities have demonstrated when incarcerating immigrants.
ICE is a rogue law enforcement entity that lacks transparency. US District Judge Terry J. Hatter, in the ruling to reduce the population at the Adelanto Facility, recently said, “Straight up dishonesty on the part of the Government’s counsel,” in regards to ICE’s lies on social distancing and detention capacity inside Adelanto.
This current outbreak demonstrates that reductions to the population won’t stop a COVID-19 outbreak and the adequate public health solution is to free them all.
COVID-19-positive detainees have been forced to stay inside cells and are only allowed out for two minutes at a time. Local counties are nearing the capacity of ICU beds while ICE is creating the conditions to put them over capacity unnecessarily.
With winter approaching, COVID-19 circumstances in detention centers will worsen.
California has led the nation in passing the strongest prohibition of prisons and detention facilities. Communities and lawmakers, through AB 32, said “NO” to profits from the pain, mistreatment, and separation of families.
There is no reason why immigrants need to be held in these facilities with egregious conditions. It is time the nation and the federal government follow suit.
We will continue working to end the unjust and inhumane detention of immigrants and keep this new administration accountable until they free them all. We won’t allow record deportations and family separations like we saw under the Obama Administration to happenagain.
It is imperative that the federal government begin to adopt policies that prohibit profiting off of immigrant bodies. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris must commit to freeing all immigrants who are detained in these deadly centers as an immigration priority.
Mass immigrant detention is a new concept — no more than 25 years old. Alternatives existed and continue to exist.
As we enter a new era of policy in this country, we must ensure that all elected officials work towards humane treatment and denounce the inhumanity that we are witnessing under the hands of the rogue agency that is ICE and the inhumane for-profit detention centers.
Javier Hernandez is the director for the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice.