MEDIA ADVISORY: Thursday, August 4th, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Natalia Jaramillo (786) 317-3524
Opposition keeps growing against immigration detention center in Broward
Residents from Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines and Weston to demand answers at Town Council Meeting
What: Press Conference and Town Council Meeting, Southwest Ranches
When: Thursday, August 4th
Press Conference at 6:30 pm
Town Council Meeting at 7:00 pm
Where: Southwest Ranches Town Hall, 6591 SW 160 Avenue, Southwest Ranches, FL 33331
Why: As the time nears for a definite approval to build a private immigration detention center in Southwest Ranches, concern among residents keeps growing. On July 16, over 150 residents converged Sawgrass Community Church to express their opposition. And this Thursday, August 4th, residents will attend the Southwest Ranches Town Council meeting hoping to receive a response to so many unanswered questions and deliver a petition against the detention center.
“Many residents have approached their elected officials asking for explanations without any result. The Town Council members respond that they are under a cone of silence and told residents to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for information,” says Kathy Bird, organizer for the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
The detention center will be one of the largest in the country, with up to 1,800 beds. It will be built and run by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison company in the nation. CCA makes billions in profits by contracting with ICE to run detention facilities. CCA signed a contract with Southwest Ranches in 2005 to bring a private prison to Southwest Broward. This deal mandates that the Town of Southwest Ranch pay CCA $150,000 per year, and in return receive a percentage for every immigrant detained.
“If the town has already signed, they should be able to respond the inquiries from the area residents,” continues Bird.
In a preliminary phone survey* completed by 229 residents of Southwest Ranches, 89% (203) did not agree with having a detention center in their community.
Residents from Pembroke Pines are also joining the voices of opposition, and have been invited to attend the Town Council meeting this coming Thursday. The detention center will not only be visible from their homes, but it will also use their streets, fire department, water and sewer. Officials from Pembroke Pines and Southwest Ranches have already signed agreements earlier this year for Pembroke Pines to provide these services to the proposed detention site which is located adjacent to them.
*The survey was coordinated by the Florida Immigrant Coalition