NewsCovering Kern County


Advocates are demanding humane treatment of detainees at detention centers in McFarland and Bakersfield.

Posted at 5:20 PM, Oct 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-16 20:33:46-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Advocates are demanding humane treatment of detainees as the labor strike inside detention centers inside McFarland and Bakersfield is approaching six months.

Laura Duarte Bateman, Communications Manager for the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice says the detained immigrant workers are protesting mistreatment, poor living conditions and unjust labor practices. She and dozens of other advocates came together demanding change with signs outside of the Golden State Annex and Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center.

“We really hope and demand that ICE and GEO meet the demands of the folks that are inside and that they meet with them and talk with them because they haven’t even done that. Basically just uplift their humanity because they’re not treated as human beings,” said Duarte Bateman. 

Duarte Bateman tells 23ABC the detained strikers are being paid one dollar a day which is less than one percent of minimum wage in the state of California.

That is why advocates have set up a way for the community to step in and help by donating.

“We have a donation set up for them because as they are on strike, they can’t get the money that they really need to buy their hygiene supplies and their commissary supplies. We have that donation going and we have several ways in which the community can support digitally but now we are here in person to show that support,” said Duarte Bateman.