It’s Saturday morning, and the ladies of the Contreras’s own family are busy in Montclair, Calif., making pupusas, tamales, and tacos. They’re working on updating the income of José Contreras, who was held on account last June at Southern California’s Adelanto ICE Processing Center, a privately run immigration penal complex.
Giselle’s father crossed from Guatemala more than two decades ago without authorization to go into the U.S. He labored in creation until retailers picked him up and brought him to Adelanto.
Giselle says her father languished there for three months without his diabetes medicine. Now, she says, the guards give it to him at unusual times throughout the day and night. And, she says, ICE retailers took his eyeglasses so he cannot study prison documents or write letters.
“My aunt attempted to absorb glasses for him, but they don’t permit us to give them anything,” Giselle tells me as she steers the minivan. “They inform us that they deliver them the entirety they want.” When I ask if her father has glasses now, she says, “No, he would not. He doesn’t have glasses.”
Giselle says her father, who’s 60 years oldold, is frightened of being deported, and they say the regimented global internal Adelanto is driving him into a deep depression. “His conversations now have to turn out to be shorter,” she says. “He does not speak to us and ask, ‘How’s your day? How have you been?’ He’s always looking down on the floor; he doesn’t want to make eye contact for the equal cause that he is so depressed.”