Report by @JuanSaaa on proposed @CorrectionsCorp facility in Southwest Ranches, FL
Southwest Ranches, Florida. The small town (not a city) is located just bellow the City of Weston, deep within the boundaries of Broward County, Florida. If you were to drive across the area you would probably miss it, because in Broward county cities run from east to west, think of layers on a cake, which makes it easy to get from City A to City B and cross cities/towns C, D, F and E in the process.
So whats the big deal here? Well, since 2005 the Town of Southwest Ranches has kept a dirty little secret when it passed a resolution where it states its consideration for building an immigrant detention center, the largest in the nation for that matter. Built by the Corrections Corporation of America, the facility is expected to have 1,800 beds for inmates and would be built close to US 27 here in Florida. The resolution states that the town would receive a 3-4% compensation should they allow the construction of the facility.
Fast-forward to 2011 and now we have reports of ICE and CCA pushing for the construction of this detention facility. And why wouldnt they? Last year’s census revealed that Broward County currently holds a quarter of its population to be Hispanic, and almost half of it to be minorities making racial profiling a breeze for already existing ICE officers across the county, not to mention that Broward county loves its 287g agreements. Oh, and let’s not forget all of the deaths that CCA has had on its hand at some of their facilities.
[On August 4th 2011], there was talk that CCA detention center subject resurfacing at a town hall meeting at SouthWest Ranches. However, once a crowd of over a hundred people overflowed the room and the meeting began the chair was quickly to point out that the subject was not on the agenda and would not be discussed at the meeting at all. Moreover, the chair mentioned that the recent efforts to draw attention to the subject were incorrect as the disucsison about the detention center was not scheduled to take place today to begin with. Residents of the town were allowed to make comments at the end of the meeting which went on for a couple of hours,hoever, the conversation ended there.
Residents of Southwest Ranches and Weston reported receiving “robo-calls” from an unidentified organization [Update: we received confirmation that these calls came from The Florida Immigrant Coalition] warning them about the detention center being discussed at today’s meeting. Many residents expressed that they had no idea about this detention center and feared that its construction would drive down the value of their homes as well as a possible increase in the crime rate across the town.
For now the discussion about the detention center is tabled, with no clear signs as to when it will resurface. DreamActivist Florida will keep a close watch on the discussion as it develops.