ALL states should ban the cruel, greedy, MoFos! They are a disaster in every way, as you know by now if you read my articles. And I predict that the lawsuit filed by GEO Group (America’s second largest private prison company) will fail.
Excerpts from the Article:
On a recent Saturday, immigration advocates packed Washington Hall, shared tamales and discussed the various ways they planned to put an end to immgiration detention in Washington state. They had already managed to stop deportation flights in King County, the activists boasted.
After giving a brief historical overview of the burgeoning private prison industry in the United States (the first private prison opened in the 1980s), and the costs and abuses associated with the facilities, the activists revealed a bill a number of groups have been working on with Washington state legislators. The bill’s intention: Ban all private detention facilities. The Latino Civic Alliance, Washington State Labor Council, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, La Resistencia, among others, have supported the bill.
Sponsored by state Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, and in the House, Lillian Ortiz-Self, D-Mukilteo, the bill aims to prevent private companies that contract with local, state and federal agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, from operating in Washington state. “There are numerous documented abuses of people held in private detention facilities in Washington state and elsewhere,” the bill reads. “Incarcerating persons in private detention facilities leads to cutting operational costs, which is dangerous and detrimental to Washingtonians.”
Under the bill, Washington state’s one private detention facility, the Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma, would continue to detain people only for the duration of its contract, which expires in 2025. The bill could prevent other private facilities — whether criminal or civil — from opening.
Leading presidential candidates, such as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have already identified the private prison industry as a primary target, vowing to do away with private jails. Grisel Ruiz, supervising attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, one of the groups behind the push to ban private prisons, said “this really is a national movement.”
“Our North Star is to see some change at the federal level,” Ruiz said. Ortiz-Self said: “We should not be profiting off our most vulnerable communities. Locking people up should not be a moneymaking venture.”
Saldaña pointed out many of those held are not violent individuals, and many end up in worse condition after they come out.
If signed into law, Washington state would join a handful of other states that have already tackled this issue. Last summer, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation that bars private companies from contracting with local communities to detain immigrants. The new law expands on the state’s already existing 1990 private prison ban.
The goal of the Illinois legislation was to prevent the construction of a 1,300-bed facility in Dwight, a small town roughly 80 miles southwest of Chicago. Immigration Centers of America, or ICA, the private prison company that attempted to open the facility, has also been defeated in two other locations: in Michigan, where the governor vetoed its proposal, and in Wisconsin, where the town of New Richmond said the proposal for a 500-bed facility didn’t fit with the city’s long-term plan.
Months later, in October, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that bans for-profit lockups in that state — both criminal and civil. Specifically, the new law bars the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in the state from entering into or renewing a contract with a private company after Jan. 1. Privately run facilities will be banned altogether by 2028.
GEO Group, one of the largest private prison companies, runs dozens of facilities across the country, including the Northwest ICE Processing Center. It has challenged California’s law in court. In December, the Florida-based company sued California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra in U.S. District Court in San Diego. The lawsuit argues that the new California ban aims to “undermine and eliminate the congressionally funded and approved enforcement of federal criminal and immigration law.”
It is a “transparent attempt by the state to shut down the federal government’s detention efforts within California’s borders” and “a direct assault on the supremacy of federal law,” the lawsuit says. The suit came days after ICE rushed to sign new contracts for four private immigrant detention centers ahead of the ban.
Three other states, Nevada, New York and Iowa, have banned private correctional facilities but not civil detention. When asked whether the California lawsuit made Washington legislators nervous, Ortiz-Self said she was hopeful California would win in the end.
Nicole D. Porter, director of advocacy at the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C., advocacy and research center that focuses on incarceration, said the California lawsuit could settle the question of whether “states have legal authority to prevent federal contracts.”
“I don’t think it’s consistent with what Washington stands for,” she said.