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ICE will meet with opponents of detention center, but private prison contractor not attending

Pembroke Pines elected officials confirmed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and residents of Southwest Ranches and Pembroke Pines will meet this Saturday to discuss a proposed immigration detention center.

Pembroke Pines City Commissioner Angelo Castillo confirmed during a community meeting in early October that ICE had agreed to come to South Florida to discuss the center with city residents who oppose the project. Castillo told The Florida Independent that he planned to travel to Washington, D.C., to confirm the details of that visit.

The Southwest Ranches Town Counil announced last week that the Nov. 5 meeting would include a representative of the Corrections Corporation of America (commonly known as CCA), the largest private immigration detention contractor in the country. At this point, a CCA representative is not scheduled to be present at Saturday’s meeting.

The Broward County town of Southwest Ranches is partnering with CCA, which according to Detention Watch Network “operates a total of 14 ICE-contracted facilities with a total of 14,556 beds. In 2009, CCA averaged a daily population of 6,199 detained immigrants.”

Residents of Pembroke Pines and the town of Southwest Ranches, who have voiced their opposition to the federally funded and privately managed detention center, point out that the proposed site:

  • Has the potential to house 1,800 detainees with 432,400 square feet of gross floor space.
  • At capacity, it will be the largest detention center in the U.S.
  • Will be 2.25 miles away from four schools.

Opponents of the detention center organized the CCA Go Away campaign to point out that “South Florida already has 1,200 beds for immigrant detention and we already lead the country in detention of immigrants who haven’t committed any crime.” The meeting will start at 10 a.m. Sat., Nov. 5 at the Southwest Regional Library in Pembroke Pines.

Read the meeting announcement issued by the City of Pembroke Pines:

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