Adelanto: Abuse of Immigrants in Detention-for-Profit

Indivisible Morongo Basin has been participating with other groups in protest of the situation at the Adelanto Detention Center, and updates can be found on our Immigration Issues page.  Below is a brief background on the ADC, a for-profit facility.    

Adelanto Detention Center is an Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility operated on behalf of the government by private prison company, GEO Group. ICE contracts account for 18% of GEO Group’s business, or $1.84 billion in 2015.

There are approximately 2,000 beds at Adelanto, and some detainees have been held for years. Currently there are quotas: the government guarantees to GEO that they will provide minimum 1,455 detainees to be housed at a cost of $111.92 per detainee, per day ($162,843 per day), and any additional detainees will be housed at a cost of $50 per detainee per day (potentially an additional $27,250 per day or $190,093 per day total, or $69 million per year total).

Conditions at Adelanto are not ideal and are not accountable to state review, being under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security. A review of conditions by the Homeland Security Advisory Council last fall rejected the ongoing use of private prison companies to detain immigrants, but to the contrary, the Trump administration has moved to expand private immigration detention, and signed a $110 million deal with GEO in April 2017 to build a new 1,000 bed detention facility in Texas.

Meanwhile, six people incarcerated at Adelanto for immigration matters have died while held there, including three within three months in 2017. Causes of death include internal bleeding (Sergio Alonso Lopez); complications following a suicide attempt (Osmar Epifanio Gonzalez-Gadba); acute coronary syndrome (Vicente Cácares-Maradiaga); cancer that went undiagnosed for two years (Raul Ernesto Morales-Ramos); pneumonia (Fernando Dominguez-Valdivia) and a heart attack (Jose Manuel Azurida-Hernandez).

In protest of the conditions, unrealistic bail, and poor treatment, detainees who arrived as asylum seekers in the 2017 Caravan from Central America began a hunger strike. The “Adelanto 9” are now the Adelanto 8 following the deportation of one of the hunger strikers.

Keep updated on continued punitive and retaliatory measures used against detainees in response to legal protests supporting the strikers and ways that you can help on our Immigration Issues page.

“When hate is behind you, sometimes you just have to bow your head and pray.”

Report-back from Hands Off Our Healthcare Rally, Apple Valley, July 21, 2017

Following the well-attended Single-Payer info session in Apple Valley on July 20, 2017 with State Senator Ricardo Lara, a delegation of 6 from Indivisible Morongo Basin joined groups from Indivisible San Bernardino and the SEIU Local 2015, as well as concerned local constituents outside Rep. Paul Cook’s District Office in Apple Valley on July 21, 2017.

More than 30 people were present, and filled out “Death Certificates” to present to Rep. Cook’s staff, showing the health concerns that might kill them if they were kicked off insurance by repeal of the ACA. 115,000 people in the 8th Congressional District alone can expect to lose their health insurance if the ACA is repealed and some version of the Senate bill is enacted.

IMB members Cristyl Meyers and Sara Lee joined veteran Fernando Hernandez inside the building, where they were able to speak with Dakota Higgins of the Congressman’s office. Video of this conversation was broadcast live on Facebook thanks to Sergio and Miguel of the SEIU. Please watch! Every person present will feel a negative impact from loss of the Affordable Care Act, whether as an insured person or a caregiver. These people took the time to speak out for all of us, in hopes of averting the devastation we could all face.

A special appearance by the Indivisible San Bernardino Trump Chicken capped off an emotional day, and we got some great pictures.  Huge thanks to all who attended, from far and wide!

More photos and video links are up on our facebook page.

Health Care Action at Cook’s Yucaipa Office – July 6

On Thursday, July 6 Yolanda and Ann represented Indivisible Morongo Basin at the Health Care Action at Rep Paul Cook’s Yucaipa office. His office was locked and, in anticipation of our action, his staff had actually removed all the signage indicating that it was his office. As if that would stop us. We made some new Indivisible friends and invited the Trump chicken to attend a rally in Yucca Valley.  It was great connecting with people who are deeply concerned with this issue.  Before we left we filled out  hospital insurance forms describing why we need insurance and posted them on his office window.