In a move that has resulted in harsh criticism from activists for immigration reform, an announcement has been made about an expansion to the Adelanto Detention Center. This is already the biggest immigration detention center in the whole of Southern California.
The center is situated in the desert, is currently able to hold almost 1,300 male detainees and is surrounded by barbed wire fences. The planned expansion will add another 650 beds and a new wing for female detainees, which will bring the center’s capacity close to 2,100. Advocates for immigration reform have already begun objecting to the planned expansion, arguing that the company in charge of the center has a history of neglect and a poor record when it comes to dealing with immigrants.
There has also been criticism about US Customs and Immigration Enforcement detaining 34,000 immigrants per day on a national level as required by a federal quota. Defund Detention Campaign coordinator Victoria Mena told Los Angeles NBC affiliate KNBC that the frustration of advocates is growing.
“To see that we’re still building centers like Adelanto, to just comply with this quota, is really sad,” Mena said. “We don’t need more immigration detention to fill the quota; what we need is to make smart, commonsense immigration reform happen.” Mena also points out the troubling death of an Adelanto detainee in 2012, which was shown to have been contributed to by a lack of adequate health care.