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For Immediate Release
July 13, 2015
Contacts: Olga Tomchin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 402.650.2339 // Christina Fialho (for interviews with Carlos Hidalgo), email@example.com, 385.212.4842
“Free Adelanto 4” Announces Successful Release of Carlos Hidalgo, Pledges Continued Fight Against Detention of People with Disabilities & Vulnerable Groups
Campaign Continues for Vulnerable Individuals Still Detained at Adelanto, Calls to Prevent Transfer of Transgender Women
Santa Ana, CA—One week after the launch of the campaign, Adelanto 4 member and human rights advocate Carlos Hidalgo (A#092-952-155) was released from the Theo Lacy detention center in Orange County, CA where he had been transferred by ICE as retaliation for his advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities and asylum seekers detained at the for-profit Adelanto detention center.
Mr. Hidalgo, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was targeted for helping people file grievances for medical abuse and alerting them of their rights. In response, ICE threw him into solitary confinement for over 3 days and then transferred him to a different detention facility because “GEO Group doesn’t want you here.”
On three occasions and under increasingly mysterious circumstances, ICE prevented Mr. Hidalgo from having a court hearing, resulting in him missing his U.S. citizen daughter Lovette’s high school graduation. Today, Carlos has been reunited with her, his other two U.S. citizen children, and his parents and grandchild. He can now also continue receiving treatment for his multiple sclerosis.
Upon his release, Carlos Hidalgo made the following statement:
“Thank you to everyone who signed the Adelanto 4 petition and to all who are supporting our cause. Because of you, I am now reunited with my beloved family! I’ve been given the chance to continue this fight from the outside and help all those who are still in detention. I have the moral obligation to help those still in need that are living under this unjust deportation and immigration detention system that is affecting so many of us immigrants. With your help, I promise to continue this fight to the end immigration detention and help all of my brothers and sisters who are still being detained.
“Regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, we are all human beings who deserve to be able to pursue happiness and live our dreams. The tears of the detained must not be in vain. For-profit prison companies such as GEO Group need to be held accountable for their actions and must not be allowed to abuse people with disabilities and transgender people. I personally witnessed the total lack of proper medical care for those with mental health issues and dialysis patients. Let’s keep up the fight and be heard with dignity and respect!”
The “Free Adelanto 4” campaign continues for the remaining Adelanto 3 and others with disabilities and asylum seekers and has called on ICE to stop the transfer of transgender women to the abusive facility.
Undocumented trans woman activist Jennicet Gutiérrez who made headlines recently for demanding to President Obama that he stop the abuse of trans women by ICE added,
“Trans women in detention centers should not be transferred to Adelanto because the abuse won’t stop with the transfer. Adelanto is a remote location where it would be more difficult for our sisters to get our support and legal representation.”
GEO Group, the infamous for-profit prison company which runs Adelanto, is currently being sued by current and former detained immigrants for violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The lawsuit alleges that GEO is subjecting immigrant detainees to forced labor under threat of solitary confinement, which is recognized as torture by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Additionally, the Free Adelanto campaign has launched a fundraiser for the bond of Adelanto 4 member Victor Calderon (A# 206-412-111). He is a 32 year old father of three U.S. citizen children and the son and caretaker of a disabled green card holder mother. Victor has lived in the United States since he was 6.
The petition for the remaining Adelanto 3 can be found here: http://action.ndlon.org/c/1509/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=20786