On the evening of Friday, June 12, immigrants at the Adelanto Detention Center, located in the high desert of California’s San Bernardino County, refused to go into their cells. Anger, frustration and fear had been building among detainees for weeks as they watched the coronavirus spread across the country and worried about an outbreak in a facility where social distancing was virtually impossible. Then came the wave of protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, which also brought activists to the entrance of Adelanto. On one occasion, protesters broke windows of the facility, damaged numerous vehicles and injured an employee with a rock.
In response to the protests, according to multiple detainees, their few privileges were curtailed. Access to phones were limited. Tablets were taken away, which had allowed them to listen to music and make video calls. Routine attendance counts by guards from the GEO Group, the for-profit company that runs Adelanto, turned into “emergency counts” that forced detainees to be locked in their cells for days at a time, with only a 30-minute opportunity to take a shower or make a quick call.
Mohammed Alsayed Ali Abdelsalam, a 32-year-old from Egypt, was hit in the head with a projectile and lost consciousness.
To read the full story on Capital and Main, including quotes from CLUE's Immigration Program Director, Guillermo Torres, click here.