Call to Close "Deplorable" Private Detention Center for Immigrants Made, as Expansion Planned

September 23, 2014
TruthOut

Immigrant justice groups and human rights groups are demanding the Obama administration close a recently converted immigrant detention center in Karnes, Texas. The center incarcerates 530 children and families and is owned and operated by the private prison corporation GEO Group.

The call to close the Karnes detention center comes as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials recently confirmed plans to build a new immigrant-family detention center in Dilley, Texas, that is expected to hold 2,400 refugees arriving from Central America.

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"While families are suffering this mass-family detention policy, it has become very good for business for private prison corporations like the GEO Group," said Bob Libal, executive director of the Austin-based Grassroots Leadership, which works to end for-profit incarceration.

Libal said the company's expected annual revenue for the Karnes detention center jumped from around $15 million to $26 million after the company converted the center to detain children and families.