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Activists Rally Outside Adelanto ICE Processing Center

Benjamin Purper

Protesters rallied outside the Adelanto ICE Processing Center yesterday to denounce what they say are poor conditions for immigrants detained in the center. ICE denies this and says it’s taking the necessary steps to combat COVID-19 in the facility. 

Protesters gathered in front of the ICE Processing Center in Adelanto to denounce the conditions inside the facility, which they say are substandard.

Shannon Camacho, Campaign Coordinator for the Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights, says the activists gathered "to protest the conditions inside the detention center, specifically to demand that ICE release everyone in detention. There are already confirmed cases of COVID-19, detainees that have COVID-19 in the detention center, and we already know that conditions in Adelanto are horrible. And so the fact that there is a global pandemic happening and folks are still forced to be detained, it makes us think about the worst happening.”

But there were also counter-protesters. One of them was Raul Rodriguez, Jr. who ran for Secretary of State of California in 2018. He and the other counter-protesters say they support ICE. 

"They do a great job of securing our borders and returning those that are illegally in our country back to their own country. We need to continue to support ICE because they’re doing a great job of keeping us safe from anyone coming into our country illegally. And this is why we’re here, we’re supporting ICE 100 percent, we’ve been here before and we intend on being here every time these people come out here to protest ICE and the detention center," Rodriguez, Jr. says.

Alexx Pons, a spokesperson for ICE, responded to a request for comment on this story via email by saying that “false allegations, disinformation and propaganda reported by various media groups across the nation… are nothing more than shameful lies, perpetrated in large part by so-called advocacy groups under the premise of helping detainees.” 

Pons says the agency has a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual abuse in detention centers, closely monitors detainees’ food and water intake, and is committed to maintaining the highest facility standards of cleanliness and sanitation. As for COVID-19, Pons says all common areas in the facility are disinfected multiple times per day and GEO – the company that operates the facility – has provided personal protective equipment for all detainees and staff at Adelanto.

As for the allegation of COVID-19 spreading among detainees in Adelanto, ICE’s website acknowledges one confirmed case of the virus among an ICE employee there, but not any detainees. That’s as of May 28th.

You can read the complete list of confirmed cases among ICE employees and detainees at ice.gov/coronavirus.

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