Defiant Struggle and Support Intensify at Adelanto Immigrant Detention Center

July 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

A new hunger strike was declared on July 4 by over 30 immigrants imprisoned at Adelanto Detention Center, California’s largest immigration prison. This is the fourth time in less than a month that immigrants held there have gone on hunger strikes against the inhumane conditions. On June 12, nine people (known as #Adelanto9) began a strike to demand political asylum—and one has since been deported. The remaining eight began a second hunger strike on June 22. And about 30 women prisoners held a day-long solidarity hunger strike on June 14.

On July 4, the immigrants support group Sureñxs En Acción issued a statement:

While previous hunger strike by the #Adelanto9 primarily involved Salvadoran asylum-seekers, the current strike has spread to detainees from various nationalities, including a contingent of detained Haitians. In a handwritten letter delivered to supporters, the hunger strikers argue that bonds set as high as $50,000 are impossible to pay for refugees who “have had to cross 3 and in some cases 9 different national borders” and who “have been the victims of theft by different criminal groups that stole the little money we were able to bring with us.” Hunger strikers assert that the policy of setting impossibly high bonds exists in order to “break our spirit so that we give up our rights to due process.”

The statement also said that in retaliation for the June 12 protest, the #Adelanto9 were “beaten, tortured, denied medical care, placed in segregation, and denied their right to private attorney-client communications.” This included blocking of the phone numbers of the detainees’ legal counsel and prominent journalists from the Spanish-language network Univision.

Besides lower bond and release from detention, including the granting of asylum applications, the hunger strikers are demanding better medical care and documents provided in English or access to translation tools. The hunger strikers are also demanding that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) release the video of the June 12 attack on the #Adelanto9 and hold a press conference where “both sides” can tell their story. The letter from the prisoners on July 5 announcing the initiation of the new strike included the important point that they “are aware of cases where our Haitian brothers were deported and when they arrived in their country, they were murdered.”

On June 30, the American Civil Liberties Union issued a letter demanding that ICE and GEO Group, the for-profit company that directly runs the prison, immediately “Put a stop to the ongoing mistreatment of the hunger strikers; Initiate disciplinary proceedings for staff responsible for the abuse; Meet with the detainees to address their mistreatment and discuss the grievances that led them to initiate the hunger strike.”

Religious groups and family members rallied in support outside the Adelanto Detention Center, and they’ve been confronted by fascist Trump supporters screaming vile threats while waving their Amerikkkan rag. This poses the new terms in the struggle for immigrant rights in the era of the fascist Trump/Pence regime, and this fight needs to be part of the larger struggle with the unified goal of driving them out—with the July 15 protests across the country a crucial juncture in this.

From RefuseFascism’s urgent call for mass defiant protests July 15:

Immigrants are full human beings, not “illegals” or criminals, to be demonized, terrorized, hunted down, locked up and thrown out. NO! We will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime ... they must GO!



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