As the Florida legislature moves forward with proposed immigration enforcement bills, three South Florida counties are bidding on a new immigration detention center.
Florida City is applying for a grant to build an up-to-2,300 bed, $150 million US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention and correction facility that could create 300 construction and 600 permanent jobs.
Miami-Dade commissioners approved an emergency measure last week supporting the application with added bus service.
The multi-purpose detention center would house detainees who are either undergoing removal proceedings or awaiting removal from the US, said Ivan Ortiz-Delgado, a spokesperson for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an e-mail received Tuesday. The facility would hold both medium-security and non-criminal detainees.
Miami Today added that Broward and Palm Beach counties are also competing for the grant.
In an op-ed published last week, Andrea Black, coordinator of the Detention Watch Network, wrote, “ICE officials intend to expand or build new facilities in or around Miami, Chicago, the Carolinas and San Francisco, increasing the reach of an already overextended and unaccountable detention system rife with abuse.”
According to Detention Watch data, in Florida immigrant detainees are held in county jails, the Krome North service processing center and Broward Transitional Center, owned and operated by The GEO Group, Inc., which also owns and operates South Bay Correctional Facility.
The state Senate proposed a bill last week that would, among other changes, increase the implementation of Section 287(g), a federal immigration enforcement program that allows local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law, issue deportation orders and transport detainees to facilities like Krome or Broward Transitional.