Company scraps plan for Indiana immigrant detention center

Via Merced Sun-Star

A private prison management company on Monday scrapped plans to build a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in northern Indiana following fierce local opposition, county commissioners said.

Nashville, Tennessee-based CoreCivic had proposed locating a $100 million, 1,200-bed center about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of South Bend. Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder says CoreCivic officials informed the three county commissioners Monday morning that they would withdraw their petition to rezone farmland for the center. Yoder said the company didn’t give a reason why.

Commissioner Frank Lucchese confirmed the decision by the company previously known as Corrections Corp. of America.

“I think CoreCivic read the writing on the wall and saw it wasn’t going to be a good fit for Elkhart County,” Lucchese said.

CoreCivic had said its proposal was in response to an ICE request for information on possible facilities within 100 miles of Chicago.

ICE detention centers have failed to win approval in at least four other communities in Indiana and Illinois over the past several years.

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ICE Detained My Husband for Being an Activist

Ravi Ragbir, center, the executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, at a demonstration outside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Manhattan last year. This week, Mr. Ragbir became one of a series of prominent immigrant activists detained by ICE. CreditJohn Moore/Getty Images

Via The New York Times | Amy Gottlieb

Last Thursday, I found myself in the back of an ambulance with my handcuffed husband, Ravi Ragbir, two E.M.T.s and an agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

As the ambulance inched its way out of 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan, I caught glimpses of the chaos outside. Faces of friends swam in and out of view. We could hear the shouts and wails of the hundreds of supporters surrounding us who knew Ravi had been arrested, feared he was being “disappeared” and were attempting, nonviolently, with their bodies, to protect him.

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Private prison corporations are profiting from the opioid crisis

1_yh6ak4BwAtA7RBW75GqzxA.jpegVia Medium | Donald Cohen

Lost in the end-of-the-year rush was pretty big news that says a lot about what the private prison industry is really about.

Just before Thanksgiving, the state of Kentucky signed a contract with CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, to reopen a prison, the Lee Adjustment center in the eastern town of Beattyville. The cost of the contract is relatively small — CoreCivic made $1.85 billion in revenue last year. But it highlights the core problem with private prison corporations: they’re in the business of human suffering.

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NY State Senator Benjamin calls on divesting from Private Prisons

Via Capital Tonight  The purpose of the state pension fund is to make investments and earn money to cover the costs of retiree’s pensions. It is run by a politician – the state comptroller – but is supposed to be free of politics. However, at around $200 billion, it is one of the largest investors on Wall Street, and that gives the comptroller a lot of power to influence companies and even industries. So lately, we have been seeing calls for the fund to divest from things like fossil fuels. NY State Senator Brian Benjamin is calling for divesting from private prisons. Watch the Interview

Action Alert: We Will Not be Silenced

unnamedVia Detention Watch Network

Press Conference and Rally
Friday, January 19 at 9:00 am ET | Washington, DC

For years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been building a track record of retaliation against those who speak out against ICE’s violence and abuses. Currently, emboldened by an outright racist, anti-immigrant regime, ICE has increased attacks against those raising their voices and has targeted leaders and activists of the migrants’ rights movement.

Two weeks ago, New Sanctuary Coalition (NSC) of New York co-founder, Jean Motrevil, was picked up by ICE outside of his home despite having a routine check-in scheduled for January 16th. Just last week, long-time DWN member Ravi Ragbir, the executive director of the NSC, was detained at what for years had been his regular check-in with ICE.

And now, Maru Mora Villalpando of the Northwest Detention Center Resistance, has been targeted by ICE and given a Notice to Appear (NTA), despite no open case against her. This appears to be a first use of this tactic and new attempt to intimidate Maru and other leaders across the country.

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New Orleans Passes Measure to Divest from Corporations that Violate Human Rights

Via The Intercept | By Aida Chavez

View image on TwitterNEW ORLEANS APPROVED a resolution on Thursday pledging to take steps to avoid contracting with or investing in corporations whose practices violate human rights — an initiative pushed in the council as part of the campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel for its occupation of Palestinian territories. New Orleans became the first city in the South — and one of the largest in the country — to pass a resolution in accordance with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction Movement, known by its initials BDS.

“This resolution specifically recognizes the city’s social and ethical obligations to take steps to avoid contracting with or investing in certain corporations, namely those that consistently violate human rights, civil rights, or labor rights,” said council President Jason Williams just ahead of the vote. The resolution passed the council unanimously, with all five members present voting in support.

Five of seven city council members, including the mayor-elect, co-sponsored the resolution, drafted by the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee, and brought it to a vote on Thursday. Palestinian Solidarity Committee organizers said one of their demands, in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration last year, included a human rights screening for all the city’s contracts and investments to avoid doing business with companies complicit in abuses.

Both backers and detractors agree that the movement to boycott Israel is growing. In recent weeks alone, a New York court has been hearing the case of a pro-BDS student group that was banned from a college campus and pop singer Lorde acceded to boycott activists’ requests that she cancel a show in Israel. Some local governments have passed measures in opposition to the BDS movement — and such measures have been pushed on the federal level as well — but cities like Portland, Oregon, have passed limited pro-BDS measures.

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Private Prison continues to send ICE Detainees to Solitary Confinement for Refusing Voluntary Labor

Via The Intercept | By Spencer Woodman

OFFICIALS AT A privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia locked an immigrant detainee in solitary confinement last November as punishment for encouraging fellow detainees to stop working in a labor program that ICE says is strictly voluntary.

Shoaib Ahmed, a 24-year-old who immigrated to America to escape political persecution in Bangladesh, told The Intercept that the privately run detention center placed him in isolation for 10 days after an officer overheard him simply saying “no work tomorrow.” Ahmed said he was expressing frustration over the detention center — run by prison contractor CoreCivic — having delayed his weekly paycheck of $20 for work in the facility’s kitchen.

Those in ICE custody often work for as little as $1 per day and cannot legally be compelled to work.

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