ICE Locks Down Immigrant Detention Facility After Interfaith Group Holds Prayer Circle


On Tuesday, a group of more than 60 faith leaders and attorneys visiting an immigrant detention center in the high desert was refused entry, and the entire facility was put on lockdown shortly thereafter. Family members and lawyers who were already visiting detainees inside the Adelanto Detention Center were also forced to leave. Members of the interfaith group that planned the "pilgrimage" visit to Adelanto allege that the facility was put on lockdown in response to a short, peaceful prayer circle led by clergy members just outside the entrance to the facility.

An Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson said in a statement that although ICE is "committed to facilitating visitation for those housed in its detention centers," ICE "reserves the right to deny visitors access or temporarily suspend visitation in the event of security concerns, as was the case at the Adelanto Detention Facility on Tuesday."

Clergy members and families turned away today from visiting at Adelanto detention facility #adelantolockout

— Martin H Isaac (@MHIsaac805) June 20, 2017

Located on a barren stretch of sunbaked road about two hours northeast of downtown Los Angeles, the Adelanto Detention Center is the largest immigrant detention center in California. Although it falls under the jurisdiction of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the privately-owned facility is run, like many other immigrant detention facilities, by GEO Group, the nation's second largest for-profit prison operator. ICE contracts with the city of Adelanto for the space, and the city of Adelanto contracts with GEO Group to run the facility. Three detainees have died over the past three months at the facility, whose population hovers just under 2,000 people.

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