US Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) announced that it is adding 1,300 beds to a Adelanto holding facility to detain suspected illegal immigrants in Southern California.
Authorities said they are adding the beds in order to keep more detainees in the state instead of transferring them to distant locations, a move The Associated Press reports has been criticized by advocates attempting to represent the illegal aliens in court.
The city of Adelanto has contracted The Geo Group, a Florida-based company, to run the facility’s day-to-day operations. The addition will increase the number of beds available in the greater Los Angeles area to more than 3,000.
In August authorities will be able to house another 650 immigrants in another Adelanto facility that was previously used for low-level criminal offenders. The city sold the building to the Geo Group for $28 million last year, which expects to add an additional 650 beds in August 2012.
The Federation For American Immigration Reform reports that as many as 500,000 illegal immigrants enter the US each year. There are more than 50 detention centers located across the nation, with six in California alone, according to the ICE website.