For Immediate Release//
March 11th 2020
Adelanto, CA – As COVID-19 becomes a global pandemic, the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice is increasingly concerned with the failures of the GEO run Adelanto Detention Facility to provide adequate medical services to detained immigrants. GEO group is a multi-billion dollar company that places profits over people and immigrant communities run a greater risk.
Lizbeth Abeln, Detention Abolition Coordinator issued the following statements:
The health conditions at the Adelanto Detention Facility have been fatal for detained immigrants (ICIJ) and their families. Since its opening, 7 people have died due to medical negligence & GEO has routinely failed to provide adequate medical support to vulnerable immigrants. The Adelanto Detention Facility is also known for its unsanitary conditions. Late last year, Rep Mark Takano who visited the facility reported “unsanitary conditions and ICE’s failure to adhere to any medical protocols… [is] to the detriment of the detainees.”
ICIJ is a plaintiff in Fraihat v. ICE, which highlights abusive isolation, substandard medical and mental health care specifically to those who are most vulnerable, people with disabilities and severe medical illnesses. We will continue to demand accountability and transparency from GEO in their response to this outbreak.
It is necessary to underscore how lethal something like the coronavirus can be for people who are detained. We are deeply concerned that GEO has demonstrated their unwillingness to provide the necessary care to address the health needs of immigrants. We saw proof of this in their delayed response to previous outbreaks within the detention center. This is yet another reason why we fought hard to pass AB-32 which prohibits private prisons and will continue to work to completely shut down the Adelanto Detention Facility and ensure all immigrants can be at home with their families and receive the care they deserve.
Brenda, who has a sibling inside of the Adelanto Detention Facility shared the following concerns:
“I am concerned for my brother detained in Adelanto. He is upset that new individuals are not having health evaluations or medical attention. My brother is disabled medically and physically and has been waiting for medical treatment for months. I am concerned for his life due to a low immune system, he was diagnosed with Autoimmune Neuromuscular Disease (Mitosis). Individuals with medical disabilities are not receiving the adequate medical attention that they deserve. I have submitted his medical records to the ICE officer and my brother has also asked for medical care on a daily basis.
The living area is in need of cleaning but the supplies needed to thoroughly clean are not provided. My brother has been waiting to receive a bond. He needs to see his doctors so he can get his medications to improve his health. Due to his low immune system, any sickness cold or flu can be life threatening. With the threat of the CoronaVirus, he is afraid for his well being due to his chronic illnesses. I am worried that he will get severely sick and end up in the hospital or worse. I can’t lose him!”