The Miami New Times is a trendy South Florida newspaper provided free to all who want to open the news box on the corner and read it. The news magazine is full of interesting stories one of which touched on the on-going troublesome issue of the detention of undocumented immigrants at a private for-profit facility where the sole source of income is the detention of people. This is not the first time this facility, the Broward Transitional Center, has made the news. In this instance, two courageous people infiltrated the facility simply by turning themselves in to immigration authorities. BTC is the home of Immigration Judge Rex Ford during business hours and he presides over removal proceedings in a small courtroom located within BTC. It is not a secret that Judge Ford is one of, if not the most, harshest Immigration Judges in the nation.
Judge Ford was involved in a scandal involving improper hiring practices of Immigration Judges a few years back and was mentioned by name in a scathing report by the Inspector General. Despite this, Judge Ford remains at his post. Immigration Court proceedings are administrative in nature and the rules of evidence, due process, and equal rights are loosely, if at all, followed.
The article highlights a few astonishing facts:
BTC costs U.S. taxpayers about $800,000.00 a week;
It costs 42 million dollars a year to run BTC;
In 2011, GEO corporation, the company that owns BTC and many other detention centers in the country, made 1.6 billion dollars;
Undocumented immigrants paid 11.2 billion dollars in taxes in 2010;
There are 19 immigration courts located within detention centers throughout the United States.
An investigation has been requested by members of Congress but no sign or signal as to whether it will actually happen. I know one thing for sure; if the Feds investigate, on a case by case basis, past and present cases at BTC, they will find many surprises.
CLICK HERE to read the Miami New Times article.