Miguel Speaks Up Against Mistreatment Of Immigrants At Detention Centers
The R&B singer is in support of #SchoolsNotPrisons.
November 04, 2017 at 2:37 pm
Last month, R&B singer Miguel headlined the #SchoolsNotPrisons concert in California where more than 1,000 people attended to bring awareness to harsh treatment and living conditions of of some detention centers. The concert was held across the street from the Adelanto Detention Center, which is the largest in the state.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Miguel said he is angered by the conditions immigrants and inmates have to endure in some detention centers. He explained that he has personally heard horror stories from people who have been held at detention centers for more than a decade. Miguel said he believes these types of institutions should be shut down immediately.
“You think a detention center is a place where people are being fed and taken care of, but these people are only getting one meal a day, which is often like a sandwich,” Miguel said in the interview. "They sleep on the floor. The children that are being held there are sleeping under one blanket. …The food they are serving isn’t edible because it’s been spoiled or there are maggots in the food. The treatment is crazy."
Detention center are institutions that often hold people, some of them immigrants, while they await trial or a sentence. The Grammy-winning artist, who was raised in Los Angeles, said he understands that some of them are criminals but a lot of them are just looking to better their lives. Miguel said he empathized with them especially considering his grandmother came to the U.S. in the 1960s from Mexico and eventually moved her family to America.
“It made me even more angry for them,” he said. “It’s another example of how innocent people are being taken advantage of. It’s unjust on a human level. As someone from this country who understands that this is a place that’s supposed to represent freedom and equality, we see a complete contrast of how these people are being treated.”
The #SchoolsNotPrisons concert was free, and a petition was launched to encourage people, particularly the media, to refer to the institutions as "immigrant prisons." The singer wants to continue to bring attention to the systemic incarceration of minorities in this country. As of Saturday, Nov.4, the Chang.org petition had more than 18,300 signatures.
“The more informed we are, we can avoid it,” he said. “The more we help each other, the more likely we are able to make a change for the future, so our children won’t have to deal with it.”