Friday, November 25, 2011

Fight over Immigration Detention Center in a Florida Town

A fight has broken out between residents of the south Florida town of Southwest Ranches and their local government. The local government has been working for years to have one of the governments largest detention centers for immigrants. The town stands to make a significant amount (between 400,000 and 1.5 million) annually in revenue from the prison, and it should create about 300 permanent jobs. Local residents, however, tend to have higher incomes and do not feel they need the jobs and do not feel comfortable having a prison in their town.

The new detention center is not a regular prison, but a special detention center for immigrants who have not committed any crimes. It is supposed to provide more humane treatment for non-offender immigrants and provide easier access for family members and lawyers.

The residents of Southwest Ranches may be skeptical, but I for one and very much in support of the idea. Every day immigrants flee to this country in search of a better life and every day we throw them in prison, alongside murderers, rapists and other offenders, even if they have committed no crime other than crossing our boarder. While I would prefer we not detain them at all, if we have to I think specialized detention centers that can accommodate the unique needs of these immigrants is a great idea and something that should be pursued.


arabianknight said...

I think the idea of having a detention center just for immigrants is a good middle ground between the strict restrictions of IIRAIRA and the complete freedom that human rights activists are calling for. While it still may not be the most humane thing to do, it's better than putting vulnerable asylum seekers amongst maximum security prisoners. While community outrage is unwarranted, it is understandable. It is easy to say as human rights activists that what they want is 'not good' but I think it's safe to say that anyone would feel uncomfortable knowing that they live near a prison. It should be stressed that the detention center is NOT a prison, and people should be educated about the asylum process so they understand why it's necessary.

HumanRightsAdvocate23 said...

This is just another one of those "not in my backyard" issues that shows how much education should be done in communities regarding the exact purpose of these service facilities.

Arabian Knight - good point. YOU ARE A GENIUS.

I agree with ArabianKnight that a "detention center" strictly for immigrants would be a great solution to the inhuman impact that incarceration often has.