A law library. Access to 24-hour health care and mental care. Outdoor soccer fields.
An exclusive look inside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center revealed scenes dramatically at odds with claims the facilities are poorly run and the scenes of misery and overcrowding.
Fox News was given rare access to an immigration detention facility in Adelanto, Calif. Video cameras were allowed inside. The ICE facility, just one of 31 such centers in the U.S., is run by privately contracted company GEO Group.
During a tour led by Thomas Giles, acting director of ICE’s Los Angeles field office, Fox News observed detainees had access to 24-hour health care, dental care, mental health care, unlimited phone calls, legal advice, a law library, physical-contact visitations, outdoor recreation and religious services seven days a week.
Common areas had multiple phone banks with directories for embassies, legal services and even a hotline to DHS’ Office of Inspector General for grievances.
Some immigrants played X-box inside while others played a game of soccer outside on artificial turf fields. They had relatively good freedom of movement and were not locked in cells at any point.
Detainee Noel Beltran of El Salvador had positive things to say about the facility compared to previous places he had been in custody.
“For me it is great. I can see my family, hug my family, at (prison facility) I couldn’t hug my family, they were coming from an hour and a half away to Orange, with traffic and all of that stuff, you know,” Beltran said. “A half an hour, sometimes 25 minutes, 21 minutes, it would get cut off real quick, behind the glass. Right here I have contact with my family, I can hug my kids.”
Last August, a group of California Democratic lawmakers toured this facility and found it lacking adequate resources.
Giles led that tour and disagreed with the assessment.
“I want people to know that when these individuals are detained here we're giving them the care and custody that they need. We're going to do everything we can to keep the individuals safe while they're detained here,” Giles said.