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“Adelanto Toxic Tour” Exposes issues of Environmental Racism & its impact on detained immigrants

For Immediate Release //

May 27th, 2021

Contact: Faraz Rizvi, faraz.r@ccaej.org; Armando Carmona, 951-966-6500, media@ic4ij.org


“Adelanto Toxic Tour” Exposes issues of Environmental Racism & its impact on detained immigrants



Adelanto, CA –Today, Inland Empire based community organizations launched the “Adelanto Toxic Tour” to expose the risks Adelanto residents, detained immigrants and the community face due to the GEO owned detention facility. The Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice and the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, are leading a 3 part series that addresses the risks associated with the George Air Force Base Superfund Site, due to the proximity to the Adelanto High School and the Adelanto Detention Center, the poor air quality, and the lack of medical care, immigrants that are detained, and Adelanto residents face due to exposure to pesticides, water contamination, and public health issues of COVID-19.


Lizbeth Abeln, Deportation Defense-Programs Manager at Inland Coalition for Immigration Justice stated the following


The Adelanto Toxic Tour highlights how detention centers are a tool to carry out environmental racism that disproportionately affects black and brown communities. We must put an end to this abuse, our communities deserve better. Closing down the GEO owned for profit Detention Facility is an important and necessary first step to addressing systemic racism ”


Gabriela Mendez, Community Organizer at the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice stated the following


“Incarcerated and imprisoned communities are frontline environmental justice communities because they are constantly exposed to dangerous pollutants. This tour will touch on different environmental and health issues that are affecting immigrants at the detention center and the Adelanto City community members. They are dealing with poor air quality, contaminated water, toxic sites and more serious environmental risks that can be detrimental to their health.”


Formerly detained individuals and a teacher at the Adelanto High School will be taking part in this series to discuss the different ways the Adelanto City Council should focus on investing in their community instead of prisons and detention centers. The Adelanto Toxic Tour will show 3 locations, which are all 7 minutes apart, and the negative effects the detention center and the superfund are affecting the Adelanto City. Especially the Adelanto Detention Center, which has been abusing immigrants for 10 years now.


Jose Topete, formerly detained at the Adelanto Detention Center stated the following


I suffered a lot in that concentration camp. Last year around this time, we were all suffering because of the pesticide [HDQ Neutral] GEO was misusing and spraying us with. We all experienced bloody noses, skin rashes/burns, respiratory issues, and blurry vision. Till this day we still are experiencing the trauma and physical effects. The tour will uplift these stories of individuals who have been directly affected by the way the Adelanto City Council has been making the wrong decisions and prioritizing for-profit prisons. The tour is a direct action we are taking to say no more, we need changes, and we need them now.”


ICIJ focuses on advocacy, changing the narrative, and capacity building. Our coalition engages in policy advocacy, community organizing and education, and rapid response to ICE and border patrol operations. ICIJ is dedicated to advocate and work to improve the lives of immigrant communities while working toward a just solution to the immigration system.


CCAEJ is a long-standing community based organization with over 40 years of experience advocating for environmental justice through strategic campaigns and building a base of community power. Most notably, CCAEJ’s founder Penny Newman won a landmark federal case against Stringfellow Construction which resulted in the `Stringfellow Acid Pits’ being declared one of the first Superfund sites in the nation. CCAEJ prioritizes community voices as we continue our grassroots efforts to bring lasting environmental justice to the Inland Empire.

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