Miguel will be the headlining performer at a festival this week that is being thrown to advocate for the fair treatment of immigrants in prison.
Thousands are expected to attend #SchoolsNotPrisons, a free arts and music festival coming to Adelanto, the largest immigrant prison in California, on Friday, Oct. 20. The event will see activists and artists uniting to speak up for the fair treatment of immigrants while they await a decision on their requests to stay in the United States, while also fighting to close all immigrant prisons.
Comedienne Cristela Alonzo will emcee the event, while Los Rakas, Ceci Bastida, and Buyepongo are scheduled to perform, along with Miguel.
"I was held for a very long time, almost ten years, and I can tell you this: these 'detention centers,' as they call them, they're prisons without a doubt," said Sylvester Owino, who was incarcerated for more than nine years. He will be a speaker at the concert. "I came to the U.S. from Kenya, where I was afraid for my life. These prisons are profiting off of people like me, holding them for years for no good reason. We have to end it."
Miguel said that this is as vital of a time as ever to understand the plight that immigrants deal with.
"It's important now, more than ever, for us to recognize humanity in one another," said Miguel. "I'm just hoping to help educate myself on the realities of our immigration policy and also shed whatever light I can on the families dealing with cruel and unjust treatment in Adelanto."
About 1,600 people are incarcerated in Adelanto's immigrant prison. The facility is owned and operated by a for-profit prison company called GEO Group.
Gates for the concert on Friday open at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free, but attendees are asked to register on Eventbrite.