FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUPPORT ADELANTO 9: CENTRAL AMERICAN ASYLUM SEEKERS ON HUNGER STRIKE BEING ABUSED BY ICE & GEO
WHAT: Press conference/rally in solidarity with the #Adelanto9
WHEN: Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: Los Angeles Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA
WHO: Immigrant Youth Coalition, the Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families, Central American Resource Center of Los Angeles (CARECEN-LA), and National Day Laborer Organizing Network
LOS ANGELES CA | At 5:30am on Monday, June 12th, a group of 9 detained Central American asylum seekers launched a hunger strike in Adelanto Detention Center in Victorville, California, an immigration detention center run by the private prison corporation GEO Group. That same day they were attacked by guards, handcuffed, pepper sprayed, beaten, and put in isolation! They said that the other prisoners shouted for the guards to stop, but they did not. They were taken to the nurse, but were denied medical care. One of the hunger strikers was thrown to the wall so hard his crowns and dentures came off.
The protesters say that they will remain on hunger strike until their demands, listed below, are met:
Release on recognizance as quickly as possible without inflated bond amounts
Bail set fairly for all prisoners
Due process for all refugee seeking political asylum
New and clean uniforms and undergarments for all incoming detainees
More time for religious services
No throwing away of detainees’ belongings
Translation of all paperwork in native languages
Clean water 24 hours a day
Better food for detainees
Before entering Adelanto, the hunger strikers were participants in a Viacrucis (caravan) of several hundred Central American refugees. They spent five weeks traveling through Mexico, organizing other refugees along the migrant trails and train lines during Holy Week, and denouncing the exclusion and mistreatment of migrants by both the Mexican and US governments. The Viacrucis culminated in a mass convergence to support asylum-seekers crossing the US-Mexico border in Tijuana on May 9th, after which over a hundred participants were taken into custody by the the Border Patrol. They then began the process of struggling to win political asylum in the United States.
Marcela Hernandez from the Immigrant Youth Coalition states, “we denounce these horrible abuses towards the 9 asylum seekers who are just trying to advocate for their human dignity, we demand LA ICE Field Director release them on their own recognizes and that Adelanto Detention Center be Shut Down having a long history of abuse towards community.”
In the past few weeks, many of the refugee organizers have been conditionally released, but several dozen members of the caravan are still detained in 7 prisons across the United States. Immigrant Youth Coalition, the Human RIghts Alliance for Child Refugees & Families, NDLON, CIYJA and CARECEN-LA stand in solidarity with the #Adelanto9 and demand that their rights be respected and their demands met!
CONTACT: Marcela Hernandez, Immigrant Youth Coalition, 626-260-8003
Ivan Villanueva, Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees & Families, 310-988-0908