At age 17, our client Jose was locked away in an adult detention center. He fled from his birth country, Guatemala, after being shot and nearly killed. Upon arrival to the US, immigration authorities claimed he was over 18 after preforming a faulty dental test. He spent 888 days in Adelanto detention center, a facility that has been plagued with countless reports of abuse and mismanagement.

A young Jose smiles at the camera

Conditions at Adelanto caused Jose to develop serious health issues as a teenager, such as hypertension and depression which proved to be especially concerning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jose’s case brings to light the horrific systemic injustices that exist in the immigration court system, and the immense toll that they have on individuals seeking asylum, individuals who are already carrying so much pain to begin with.

Jose prior to being detained at Adelanto. 

ImmDef’s attorneys, paralegals and staff have committed tremendous efforts to liberate Jose. Our paralegal coordinator, Arlette Lozano, prevailed when she tracked down Jose’s birth certificate in Guatemala and by providing information that was instrumental in Jose’s eventual release.

Jose stands with our Executive Director, Lindsay Toczylowski hours after being released from Adelanto Detention Center.

Jose and ImmDef Executive Director Lindsay Toczylowski outside Adelanto Detention Center after Jose's release

To learn more about ways to join ImmDef on its mission to support immigrant communities against systemic injustice in the legal system, click here.