A proposal to cancel a contract that obligates the city of Pembroke Pines to supply fire, rescue, water and sewage services to a new privately managed 1,500 bed immigration detention center was stopped in the city commission last week. Even though the facility was set to be built on land owned by the Corrections Corporation of American surrounding Pembroke Pines and Broward County, the Vice Mayor, Iris Siple, said that she would ask the city commission to cancel the agreement that had been signed because residents were not informed of the obligation it would bring upon them. Apparently a vote has been taken by the commission but not to terminate the deal, instead they have voted to defer any decision so that any and all residents could be given their chance to have their say. The residents of Pembroke Pines and the town of Southwest Ranches have voiced opposition to the federally funded and privately managed detention center. According to the Miami Herald, ending the contract will not prevent Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) from constructing one of the nation’s largest immigration detention centers. But the problems for the company just keep on piling up. Last week several organizations demanded in a letter to the DHS that the immigration detention center comply with National Environmental Policy Act. At this, CCA attorneys retorted that since the project is to be privately funded, the act does not apply. According to Detention Watch Network, CCA is the largest private immigration detention contractor in the country, and “spends the most on federal lobbying, totaling $18,002,00 from 1999 to 2009.” As such, we would be shocked to hear that they acquiesce to the demands of residents without putting up a fight-how this all plays out will remain to be seen.
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