FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 23, 2019
Community Responds to ICE and GEO’s Plan to Expand Private Immigrant Prisons in California
Immigrant rights advocates denounce GEO and ICE’s backroom negotiations to massively expand private immigrant prisons in the state of California.
Immigration advocates, led by directly impacted and previously incarcerated community members of California, condemn and oppose any expansion of new and private immigration for-profit detention facilities in the state. Local and state groups call on California legislators to act now and protect California values.
Over the last few months the extent of collusion and conspiring between ICE and private prison corporations has grown more apparent and has been confirmed by ICE’s attempt to search for immigrant detention space. Because of victories like the Dignity Not Detention Act, ICE is no longer able to establish these contracts in secret as they’ve done in the past, and instead must start these illicit contracts via a public contracting process. Even so, ICE is an untrustworthy actor who will take every opportunity to broker its deals in the shadows.
The collusion that has taken place between those in the business of locking up immigrants and profiting off of their detention and misery must be exposed and confronted. California will not be home to the dehumanizing detention apparatus built by ICE, and our cities and local governments are not pawns to be used by the Florida-based GEO Inc. in their plot to profit from incarceration in our state.
We will not be silent as GEO dispatches its CEO George Zoley to essentially bribe local city officials in a plot to expand the Adelanto and Mesa Verde detention facilities. This corporation, which reported revenues of $2.3 billion in 2018, has been sued for participating in human trafficking and using what amounts to slave labor in their for-profit facilities. In addition, countless individuals have died under the custody of GEO and ICE. We will not turn a blind eye to this injustice nor will we shy away from confronting the cruel, degrading and sometimes deadly treatment of our community members.
Immigrant rights groups, as well as formerly and currently incarcerated community members, are ready to fight back against policies of violence and private businesses who seek to target our community and undo and circumvent the legislative victories our community and advocates have accomplished. The plans laid out by ICE, and the deceptive tactics used by GEO to pursue detention expansion, threaten the core of our state’s values.
Organizers across the state will rally to defend immigrant communities from threats of mass incarceration and deportation. We will defend the spirit and values that we hold dear as a state, including defending the Dignity Not Detention Act that ICE and GEO have attempted to undermine. Cities and counties can move on this front, too, by limiting and zoning out any possibility for private prison expansion.
Resilience Orange County
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
Pangea Legal Services
California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice
SIREN (Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network)
Freedom for Immigrants
Filipino Advocates for Justice
Ground Game LA
East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy
California Sanctuary Campaign
United Now For Immigrants Rights
Mesa Verde Liberation Front
Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc (CAB)
CAIR San Francisco Bay Area
We Rise SF / Labor Center for Immigrant Justice
Immigration Task Force of Monterey County
Rapid Response Network of Monterey County
Contra Costa Immigrant Rights Alliance
Legal Services for Children
UNITE HERE! Local 483
STEP UP! Sacramento
Centro Legal de la Raza
Brave New Films
Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club
Monterey Bay Central Labor Council
Bend the Arc Jewish Action: California