R&B singer Miguel will perform in Adelanto, Calif. today as part of the #SchoolsNotPrisons tour, a series of concerts that aim to bring attention to the treatment of immigrants being held in detention centers across the country. According to Californians for Safety and Justice, the group behind the #SchoolsNotPrisons tour, there have been 22 prisons built since the 1980s in California, as opposed to one university during the same time. Californians for Safety and Justice want Californians to activate for more investment in schools and less investment in for-profit prisons. Adelanto Detention Center, which is owned by private prison corporation GEO Group, has been faced with several lawsuits. They were accused of breaking anti-slavery laws by pushing inmates into forced labor and breaking federal law by donating to the Trump administration as a governmental contractor.
“I was held for a very long time, almost ten years, and I can tell you this: these ‘detention centers,’ as they call them, they’re prisons without a doubt,” said Sylvester Owino, who was incarcerated for more than nine years and is speaking at Friday’s night’s event, says in a press release. “I came to the U.S. from Kenya, where I was afraid for my life. These prisons are profiting off of people like me, holding them for years for no good reason. We have to end it.”
The event is free to attend and will include performances by Los Rakas, Ceci Bastida, and Buyepongo. Comedian and actor Cristela Alonzo will be the emcee for the event. People who were formerly incarcerated at the Adelanto Detention Center will also be in attendance to speak to the audience.
“It’s important now, more than ever, for us to recognize humanity in one another,” Miguel said in a press release. “I’m just hoping to help educate myself on the realities of our immigration policy and also shed whatever light I can on the families dealing with cruel and unjust treatment in Adelanto.”
READ: A Group Of Immigrant Detainees Have Filed A Lawsuit Alleging They Were Victims Of Forced Labor