CCA

May 28, 2015
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Huffington Post

Here's The Case For Abolishing Immigrant Detention

The view that immigrant detention needs rethinking has gained wider traction in recent months, following the Obama administration's expansion of family detention. Roughly 68,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the border illegally into the United States last year, as did a similar number of children and female guardians traveling together. The vast majority came from the violence- and poverty-plagued Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, and they generally presented themselves directly to border authorities, in hopes of being treated like refugees and allowed to pursue asylum claims.

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Private prison companies operate 62 percent of the immigration detention system, according to a report published earlier this year by Texas-based advocacy group Grassroots Leadership. That figure is up from 49 percent in 2009. The report argues that privatizing detention creates incentives for corporations to lobby in favor of harsher immigration laws. Read more about Here's The Case For Abolishing Immigrant Detention

May 20, 2015
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Fort Worth Weekly

Asylum Seekers Detained

"...The newest ICE facility, the South Texas Family Residential Center, near Dilley, will house 2,400 mothers and children when completed. It will be run by Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison operator in the United States. The CCA will receive $276 per day per person from the federal government to run Dilley, a staggering $241 million per year. The CCA ran the T. Don Hutto facility when ICE was sued over conditions there.

While exact figures were not available for the smaller, GEO Group-run Karnes County Residential Facility, which houses 592 women and children, the cost per day per bed is probably similar to what CCA is getting for Dilley.

'I visited the Karnes facility last September,' said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an organization working to end the private prison industry. 'And, yes, there are paintings on the walls, and there’s a small soccer field for the kids, but the reality is that prolonged detention is always detrimental to kids and their moms. And at Karnes, some of the women have been held for as long as nine months.'

Libal noted that those families seeking refugee status are not generally considered flight risks and are normally 'given a notice to appear at a detention court and told to check in with an ICE worker and let go,' frequently to sponsors or family members already living in the United States. When they appear for their hearing, the mothers are interviewed about why they are seeking asylum. If they pass that 'credible fear' interview, their request for asylum moves on through the system. If they do not pass the interview, they are scheduled for deportation...

...Christina [sic] Parker, the immigrations program director for Grassroots Leadership, helped organize a protest at Dilley on May 2, which was attended by more than 600 people. 'When you look at the Dilley facility, it doesn’t look like a prison,' she said. 'There are rows of little trailers set up, sort of like a camp. But there are still armed guards, and the kids are still locked up. And they shouldn’t be.'

Parker pointed to a decision in a lawsuit brought against the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the precursor to ICE, in 1987 by the ACLU over the detention of illegal immigrant children. The 1997 determination, known as the Flores Settlement Agreement, required that juveniles 'be held in the least restrictive setting appropriate to their age and special needs, generally, in a non-secure facility licensed to care for dependent, as opposed to delinquent, minors.'

Parker said that the suit had been revived in light of the recent expansion of family detention. 'There’s a decision expected in a week,' she said. 'The law says children cannot be held in secure, prison-like facilities. They must be held in licensed child-care facilities.'" Read more about Asylum Seekers Detained

May 20, 2015
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Ecclesio.com

Caught in the Net of Corporate Greed: Our Immigrant Sisters and Brothers

"At any given time in the United States of America, 34,000 jail beds are made ready for immigrants to fill. According to the April 2015 report by the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership ‘Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota’, sixty-two percent of these beds are now operated by private prison corporations, which rake in millions of profits from government contracts. Immigrants are now the largest market for these corporations.

Moreover, millions of dollars have been poured into the federal justice system to fund  the salaries of privately contracted defense attorneys, for example and into internal immigration enforcement, to accommodate the arrest, prosecution, detention, and deportation of immigrants. Immigrant detention has contributed to the 500 percent increase in our nation’s incarcerated population. In 2013, immigrants made up 10 percent of the federal prison population. This mass detention of immigrants has helped to increase the number of deportations. Under the Obama Administration, two million people have been deported. [1] This system is an affront to the Christian values of acting justly and welcoming the stranger." Read more about Caught in the Net of Corporate Greed: Our Immigrant Sisters and Brothers

May 15, 2015
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The Monitor

Editorial: More immigration judges will help courts, country

"The privately-run detention facility, operated by Corrections Corporation of America, is paid $275 per day per detainee, said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership in Austin. 'At full build out it will bring $660,000 per day or $240 million in annual revenue from this one detention camp,' Libal said.

That’s all paid for with American taxpayer funds and is a prime example of why detainees need to be processed and adjudicated quickly through our courts.

As Cuellar told us: 'Right now the backlog is just tremendous so this will allow us to have hearings before the judges on a much faster pace so we can get rid of the backlog. Whatever the judge’s decide — whether they can stay or return — at least they get a day before a judge.'" Read more about Editorial: More immigration judges will help courts, country

May 15, 2015
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Seven Days

Vermont Might Send Its Out-of-State Prisoners to Michigan

GEO representatives told shareholders during a recent conference call that the company was finalizing a contract with Vermont, according to Grassroots Leadership, a national watchdog that opposes the private prison industry. "We are very concerned that the people who are currently housed out-of-state in Kentucky will be transferred to Baldwin," Kymberlie Quong Charles, Grassroots Leadership's criminal justice programs director, said in an interview. Read more about Vermont Might Send Its Out-of-State Prisoners to Michigan

May 2, 2015
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my San Antonio

Hundreds protest Obama's immigration policy in South Texas

Hundreds of people began arriving in Dilley on Saturday to protest the Obama administration's policy of detaining immigrant families.

Buses from throughout Texas gradually delivered protestors to this community 75 miles south of San Antonio, where the American government in recent months opened a large camp to hold immigrant women and their children as they navigate the immigration processing system.

More than 500 protestors were to march from a park in downtown Dilley 2 miles to the Dilley Family Residential Center, a detention center operated for the Homeland Security Department and which can hold up to 2000 people. Read more about Hundreds protest Obama's immigration policy in South Texas

Apr 20, 2015
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Texas Observer

ICE Director to U.S. Rep. Culberson: We Can’t Just Put People in Detention for ‘the Heck of it’

"A new study by the nonprofit Grassroots Leadership finds that the private prison industry has increased its share of immigrant detention beds by 13 percent since the 2009 quota was passed. For-profit corporations now operate sixty-two percent of ICE immigration detention beds.

At one point during the U.S. House Appropriations Committee hearing last week, Saldaña tries to explain to the tea-partier Culberson that she can’t put people in detention 'just for the heck of it.'"

Apr 16, 2015
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Common Dreams

'Profiting From Misery': Private Prison Corporations Driving Harsh Immigration Policies

"Private prison companies are spending millions of dollars to lobby the U.S. government for harsher immigration laws that, in turn, spike corporate profits by driving up incarceration levels, a new report from the national social justice organization Grassroots Leadership reveals.

Entitled Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, the report's release on Wednesday coincided with a renewed hunger strike at a privately-run immigrant detention center in southern Texas, where asylum-seeking mothers incarcerated with their children report inhumane conditions, including sexual assaults by prison guards and staff." Read more about 'Profiting From Misery': Private Prison Corporations Driving Harsh Immigration Policies

Apr 18, 2015
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AllGov

Private Prison Industry Spends Millions Lobbying Congress to Maintain Immigrant “Bed Mandate” Quotas

"The private prison industry spends millions to persuade Congress to keep in place a quota system that keeps as many as 34,000 immigrants locked up, many in for-profit detention centers.

A report from the Grassroots Leadership says private prison corporations that contract with theDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS) spent almost $17 million over six years to lobby Congress to maintain the volume of immigrants in detention centers. The largest private prison company,Corrections Corporation of America, spent $10.5 million on lobbying 'on issues related to immigrant detention and immigration reform,' according to the report." Read more about Private Prison Industry Spends Millions Lobbying Congress to Maintain Immigrant “Bed Mandate” Quotas

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