Activists against and in favor of the expansion of the detention center in the city of Adelanto made their voices heard outside city hall, minutes before the planning commission voted in favor of the modification. The facility is largest detention center in the country.
The GEO group claims it’s all about jobs. Danielle Noicky who is the spokesperson for the GEO group said,“We bring jobs to this community, jobs bring economic development. So basically we’re not here to debate immigration policy.”
Community supporters believe the undocumented inmates shouldn’t even be in this country in the first place.
Mike Macoy, a resident who was present at the planning commission hearing said, “These criminals need to go out first. We want them out of here.”
Activists criticize the facility’s record of human rights violations and deaths over staff negligence. Shannon Camacho who was part of a vigil that was being held for undocumented inmates and is part of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said “It’s horrible that this detention is going to expand, but it’s even worse, knowing that this is a private company that is gaining profit off of every detainee that is added.”
When asked about the prison’s record Noicky said, “Well you may not have the entire story. We have people that are mentally ill sometimes.” GEO group claims there is a protocol for these types of incidents.
The state has banned government agencies from contracting with new private prisons, but existing prisons can expand. The detention facility will now add 700 beds, where the majority of inmates are undocumented immigrants. The Adelanto detention facility has recently faced backlash for the lack of medical needs and reports of mistreatment of inmates.
The city of Adelanto receives over 50 thousand dollars annually for its contract with ice and GEO group.
Armando Carmona, part of the Inland Empire Coalition said, “adelanto has a high number of latinos that live in these communities and have to live with the reminder that there’s a facility a few blocks away that’s detaining people that look like them.”