Adelanto, CA – On Thursday, October 15, US District Judge Terry J. Hatter ordered, in a scathing decision, an immediate reduction of population at the Adelanto Detention Facility. This ordered reduction to nearly half of Adelanto’s current population comes as a result of, among other reasons, failure by Adelanto staff to socially distance individuals, wear face masks, and failure to properly inform detainees of the risks of Covid-19 virus, according to the judges decision.
The judge highlighted the Court’s concern with, “straight up dishonesty on the part of the Government’s counsel.” In line with ongoing lies and hypocrisy on behalf of the Federal Government who continues to endanger the lives of immigrants, the judge reaffirms the claims of immigrants detained, their families and activists who have worked to expose dangerous and inhumane conditions.
“This decision affirms that the federal government has been lying to us about the conditions inside Adelanto Detention Facility. At the expense of taxpayers, they hire PR machines to try to spin the reality and justify their mistreatment of immigrants and attacks against activists” said Kimberly Galindo, High Desert Organizer for the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice. “After today, we can no longer ignore the voices of those inside and must continue to fight to free them all” Kimberly concluded.
ICE was ordered to begin reducing the population of the Adelanto facility on October 19, 2020 by at least 50 detainees each day, by either releasing or deporting individuals from Adelanto, until there are 475 or less individuals detained at the facility. This is major news for the families of detained individuals and community organizers who have spent years calling out ICE and the GEO Group Corporation for various human rights violations in the facility.
“Finally, the truth about ICE and its ongoing disregard toward immigrant lives has finally met its day in the courts. We cannot turn back time and starting now, we cannot ignore what is true: ICE and its private detention complex cannot be trusted with human lives, with or without COVID-19. This should be the beginning of the end of immigration detention.” – Director of Litigation and Advocacy, Munmeeh Soni, Immigrant Defenders Law Center.
For years, immigrants detained inside Adelanto have engaged in numerous hunger strikes, acts of civil disobedience, and courageous advocacy to free themselves and others from immigration detention. This ruling is the result of community organizing with immigrants detained and reaffirms the claims of immigrants detained, their families and activists who have consistently exposed the dangerous and inhumane conditions created by ICE and the GEO facility.
We continue to echo our demands to establish a moratorium on ICE transfers to immigration detention centers from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities, as well as our demand to stop the expansion of the Adelanto detention center. With Judge Hatter’s ruling we are now asking for the release and not the deporting of immigrants.