Friday, November 25, 2011
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.