*Practice limited to federal immigration law. Licensed in NY, MA, but not in CA.

Are California Immigration Facilities Failing and Ill Equipped?

Recently, the Los Angeles Times filed a disturbing story on California’s failing immigration detention facilities. There are very serious questions being raised about how immigrants are being treated within these facilities. This is a big problem in both California and all around the United States. As the Trump Administration aggressively seeks to detain more and more immigrants, the problems at detention facilities are getting worse. It has become clear that these facilities are ill-equipped to deal with the challenges they are facing. Poor operation is currently putting the health and safety of innocent people at serious risk. In fact, new evidence suggests that ICE detainee deaths are on the rise. As a country, we need to do much better: Immediate action needs to be taken to secure better treatment at ICE detention facilities.

Reports of Deaths and Suicide Attempts at Immigration Facilities in Southern California

According to reporting from local news organizations including the LA Times, at least five detainee deaths have occurred in the last 12 months at the Adelanto Detention Facility, which is located in the high desert of San Bernardino County. This is a major detention facility, holding nearly 2,000 people at a time, and processing more than 10,000 each year. In fact, it is currently the single largest immigration detention facility in California. The problems that have been reported at the Adelanto Detention Facility are by no means unique. The Detention Watch Network assesses that many thousands of people suffer severe mistreatment at U.S. immigration facilities every year.  

The Hunger Strike at the Adelanto Detention Facility

Earlier this year, KQED News out of San Francisco reported that a sizeable group of detainees at the Adelanto Detention Facility went on a hunger strike in order to fight for better treatment. At least three dozen people were reported to have participated in this latest hunger strike. This is by no means that first action of its kind; there have been three other hunger strikes reported at the Adelanto Detention Facility in the last several months. This is disturbing news, and it is clear that there are real problems with the way that immigrants are being treated while detained. According to the KQED News reporting, guards have even used pepper spray and other highly aggressive tactics to break up organizational action by the detainees. The people who participated in the strike have filed an official complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. This complaint alleges severe mistreatment, including the unjust denial of desperately needed medical care.

Do You Need Immigration Help?

We can help. At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our immigration lawyer in Los Angeless have extensive experience handling all aspects of U.S. immigration law. If you or a loved one needs immigration assistance, please do not hesitate to call us today at (213) 514-8870 or to reach out to us directly through our website. We serve immigrants in L.A. and all around Los Angeles County, including Compton, Hawthorne and Pico Rivera.

Josh Goldstein
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