A detention center in the California desert town of Adelanto has the capacity of accommodating 2,000 migrants who are facing deportation. The government pays for 1,445 beds a day at Adelanto, but there is currently only a small daily population of about 49 detainees. Because of the federal judge’s 2020 pandemic ruling, authorities were not able to bring in more immigrants to the detention center.
The Adelanto facility in California is run by the Global Leader in Evidence Based Rehabilitation (Geo Group). The Geo group has been subject to complaints by detainees of poor medical care. The United States government pays to guarantee 30,000 immigration detention beds in four dozen facilities across the country but only about half of the beds have been occupied according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data.
This poses an issue as private immigrant housing companies are holding all the detainees, meanwhile the government is paying for these beds, whether they are occupied or not. The United States government in contract with private companies to house immigrant detainees has a financial disadvantage because the government pays for a certain number of beds irrespective of their use.
In the last two years, immigration detention facilities have been underutilized across the United States due to COVID-19 as the authorities needed to space out detainees.