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Immigrants, detention centers, and deportations

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If you are interested in U.S. immigration issues in the South, here are two recent stories in Georgia from The Nation and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution discussing detention centers and deportations.

The Nation reports the story "How One Georgia Town Gambled Its Future on Immigration Detention ":

 

Deportations have reached record levels under President Barack Obama, and demand for detention facilities has increased. Starting in 2002, ICE had funding for 19,444 beds per year, according to an ICE report. Today, ICE spends about $2 billion per year on almost twice the number of beds.

 

ICE’s reliance on facilities like the Irwin County Detention Center has put small rural towns at the center of one of today’s most contentious policy arguments—how to enforce immigration law. A yearlong investigation by The Nation shows how much politics has come to rule detention policy. Even as Georgia and Alabama passed harsh new immigration laws last year designed to keep out undocumented immigrants, documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that politicians from both states were lobbying hard to bring immigrant detainees in. ICE succumbed to the pressure, sending hundreds of detainees to the financially unstable facility in Georgia that promised to detain immigrants cheaply. That promise came at the expense of the health, welfare and rights to due process of some 350 immigrants detained daily in Ocilla.

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(Read The Nation's full story by clicking here.)

 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on Georgia deportations:

 

Georgia law officers have been among the nation’s busiest when it comes to processing people for deportation through a program that gives local officials immigration enforcement powers, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of public records.

 

Since fiscal year 2006, 14,831 people have been “removed” — deported or allowed to voluntarily leave the country — through Georgia’s five 287(g) programs, named after the section of federal immigration law that authorizes them. Georgia ranks fifth among states based on total removals through this type of operation.

(Read The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's full story by clicking here.)

 

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April 11-24, 2014

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