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Miami Herald: Krome detention center readied for for possible influx of Haitians

January 17, 2010

Kathleen McGrory reports for the Miami Herald:

Federal authorities plan to move more than 400 detainees from the Krome detention center in West Miami-Dade to make room for a potential influx of Haitian migrants fleeing the earthquake zone, the Department of Homeland Security said Saturday.

It was not clear when the relocation process would begin, or where the detainees currently housed at Krome would be placed.

There are several federal and county holding facilities in Florida that could be used.

Authorities said they had no indication that a mass migration was imminent.

Instead, the move to free up space in Krome is precautionary — and part of the department’s contingency plan for major events, sources told The Miami Herald.

So far this year, 17 Haitians have been interdicted at sea, according to U.S. Coast Guard statistics.

A total of 1,782 Haitians were interdicted last year.

The Krome Service Processing Center, as it is officially called, serves as a holding place for immigrants waiting to learn their status or awaiting deportation. It currently holds about 500 people.

On Saturday, immigrant advocacy groups expressed concern for the detainees who would be leaving Krome for another facility.

“It concerns us when our clients are moved to a remote facility where it becomes almost impossible for us to continue to provide them meaningful representation,” said Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. [Read the rest here.]

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