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Biden Executive Order On Private Detention Unlikely To Have Effect On Adelanto ICE Facility

Benjamin Purper

Last week, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Justice Department to stop contracting with private prisons. What impact will that have on the private immigrant detention center in Adelanto? As KVCR’s Benjamin Purper reports, the answer is probably none.

The executive order only applies to people in the custody of the Department of Justice – not Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  

GEO Group, the company that operates the Adelanto ICE Processing Center, entered into a contract with the federal government in late 2019 that could keep the facility open until 2034.

Eva Bitran is with the ACLU of Southern California, which has sued ICE over concerns about detainees contracting the coronavirus in the Adelanto facility.

Credit Benjamin Purper / KVCR
Activists rally outside the ICE Processing Center in Adelanto in Sep. 2020.

She says she hopes the Biden Administration will treat private immigration detention centers the same way as private prisons.

“We just really hope that the same inequities that lead them to understand why private prisons are harmful in the criminal context apply with equal force in the immigration context. And indeed that incarceration in general, not just private incarceration, is always for somebody’s profit and so they should take a look at that as well,” Bitran says.

The Adelanto facility is also dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. According to ICE’s website, Adelanto has seen 270 positive cases as of Jan. 31.

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