ADELANTO (CBSLA) — A popular R&B singer delighted a crowd in California’s High Desert with his soulful voice Friday, and it was all to bring awareness to the plight of folks being detained by immigration officials just a few miles from where the concert was held.
Singer Miguel Pimentel, better known simply as “Miguel,” took to the stage during the free music and arts festival at Adelanto Stadium.
The intent was to raise awareness for what organizers say are inhumane conditions inside the Adelanto Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center near Victorville and others like it across the country.
“It’s a very sad thing to watch and know about,” the Grammy winner and L.A. native told the crowd. “I’m so happy to have been informed and to hear real-life stories of people whose families have been torn apart.”
Gretta Soto Moreno is one of those people. She spent nearly three years in a facility just like the one in Adelanto.
“They’re not detentions, they’re jails,” she said Friday. “They’re mistreating human beings.”
The event was part of the #SchoolsNotPrisons campaign put together by organizations that include The California Endowment, the American Civil Liberties Union and Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC).
“These individuals don’t have a right to a court-appointed attorney, a free phone call, or even the right to be visited by family and friends,” said Christina Fialho, co-founder of CIVIC.
Organizers said their goal is to close all immigration centers throughout the country, and they hope events like this one will help spread the message.
It seemed to have worked—on Friday, at least.
“That’s why I’m glad everyone is out here. Everyone found out about it, being so far away,” Victorville resident Dawnn Howell told CBS2. “But this is where stuff is happening, where they’re taking people, so I’m glad everyone could come out here.”
ICE did not respond to CBS2’s request for comment.
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