Adelanto Welcomes Expansion of Immigration Detention Facility

Southern California’s largest immigration detention center is about to expand, and the City of Adelanto is poised to reap a generous benefit. 

With immigration detentions in and around the Los Angeles area on the rise, U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) plans to add 650 beds to the Adelanto Detention Facility.

The complex, which can already hold up to 1,300 individuals, is operated by Florida-based GEO Group, which contracts with the city. And, for every bed that is filled, Adelanto earns 75 cents per day. Needless to say, Adelanto city officials are supportive of the plan.

“It takes an existing facility, expands it, and creates more jobs,” said City Manager Jim Hart. “That’s a financial benefit for the city.”

Adelanto could certainly use the extra cash. The city is currently suffering from a $2.6 million budget deficit and an unemployment rate of 18%.

Immigrant advocacy groups have expressed opposition to the expansion and have organized protests outside of the complex. They argue that detention facilities such as the one in Adelanto often provide substandard food and healthcare and that the Adelanto facility in particular has a history of neglect.  

Opponents of the expansion have cited the 2012 death of Fernando Dominguez, a Mexican immigrant who died of pneumonia after being held at the center. After his death, an inspection report by the Department of Homeland Security concluded that the facility had "failed to provide adequate healthcare.” The family later sued and the case is still pending.

In addition to the immigration detention facility, the City of Adelanto houses several other correctional facilities, including a San Bernardino County jail and a state prison facility. The city also recently proposed a plan for a 3,280-bed jail facility which could help ease overcrowding at Los Angeles County’s existing jails.

Read more about the expansion of the Adelanto Detention Facility here.