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A Visit to Adelanto, California's Largest Private Detention Facility

A Visit to Adelanto, California's Largest Private Detention Facility

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that it would be considering whether to continue using private companies to operate immigrant detention centers. This announcement came on the heels of the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to phase out its usage of private companies to operate federal prisons, citing concerns about safety, security, and costs. The federal government’s decision to reconsider its options in this area is no small matter; on any given day, there are 33,000 individuals who are being held in immigrant detention facilities in America. The number of detained immigrants has grown substantially as immigration laws and regulations have tightened over the years, particularly following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The federal government began to increasingly rely on private contracts to house detained immigrants as the demands for bed space continued to grow. The Service Processing Centers operated by the federal government were no longer sufficient to house the sheer number of detained immigrants. As a result, privately-run immigrant detention facilities became increasingly common, including the Adelanto Detention Facility, which is the largest private detention center in California. Located about 90 miles from Los Angeles, the GEO Group operates Adelanto, charging an estimated $112.50 per detainee per day. While all immigrant detention facilities have had their share of problems, private detention centers have been the subject of a great deal of criticism, resulting in lawsuits related to overcrowding and a lack of adequate medical care. Investigation into these and other issues have resulted in some changes; for instance, the GEO Group changed medical providers at Adelanto this year due to problems with the previous provider. Making further progress and potentially phasing out California’s privately-run immigrant detention centers, like Adelanto, however, has stalled. Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill in September that would have prohibited cities and counties from participating in detention contracts with private companies, citing the fact that the federal government is currently reconsidering these contracts itself. This leaves any hope of progress in this area in the hands of the federal government, at least for the moment. The deportation defense lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. have handled countless deportation cases on behalf of individuals who are facing deportation charges. We know how devastating it can be for individuals to face a potential return to their native countries, often leaving behind their families, friends, jobs, and communities. We care about you and your family, and we want to help you fight your deportation charges. Call our office today to set up your consultation.

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