Private Prisons on Steroids …The for-profit detention centers
While many are aware of the rise of private prisons in the United States and the lucrative contracts that are given to for-profit companies to run those correctional facilities, far less attention has been given to the for-profit largess associated with massive contracts to run the federal government’s immigration detention centers and other related programs around the country.
As the Center for American Progress explains;
Surprisingly, the largest detention and supervised release program is not operated program in the country is not operated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), but by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees the nation’s immigration detention centers. According to the Department of Justice, its Federal Bureau of Prisons has nearly 200,000 individuals in custody as of December 2014. On the other hand, the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration detention program detains around 400,000 each year.
The nation’s paranoia about immigrants has dramatically enhanced the revenues for two massive for-profit prison companies that are now raking in over $1 billion a year in taxpayer funds running much of the federal government’s prison and detention programs.
As a result of legislation approved by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security MUST maintain no less than 33,400 detention beds a day — regardless of whether those beds are needed. It is the only mandated bed quota of any federal agency.
To acquire that many beds, the government turned to for-profit companies to build and run many of the facilities. Today, more than 60% of the immigrant detention beds are Private Prisons on Steroids …The for-profit detention centers - Wait What?:
To locate your detained loved one:
Go to this website : https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do
Contact the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deport Office (see Phone List below).
Ask to speak with a supervisory deport officer. Give them your loved one’s full name and A#. (Note: Deportation officers may be mean and not speak to anyone besides an attorney. However, it is still worth trying)
Contact your Consulate. Some Consulates are required by law to be notified when one of their nationals is detained.
The last resort is always to contact the different county detention facilities or wait for your loved one to call.
Remove any blocks on your phone for collect calls.
Do not rush to hire an attorney if you don’t have a basic idea about your loved ones case. First learn as many facts about your loved one, and then approach an attorney
Hire someone specializing in deportation. Many attorneys do not know immigration law and many immigration attorneys do not know deportation very well. If the lawyer does real estate, business and immigration, they are most likely not deportation specialists.
Keep the full information of EVERY lawyer you had. Make sure you receive a copy of everything your lawyer files.
Get a written contract before you give the lawyer money. The lawyer must give you a “retainer agreement.” Read it carefully. Make sure you understand it.
Make sure to inform your lawyer of your entire criminal and immigration history so that they may give you the best advice possible. Do not assume that ANY information is not important.
Ask your lawyer for written information about the immigration consequences of your crime before you plead guilty. If you have an old order of deportation ask your lawyer for written information about how they will prevent your deportation.
If your attorney ever refuses to provide information he promises you in writing, send a certified mailed letter to him outlining the promises he made to you and asking for written verification or clarification of those promises.
File a complaint with the Attorney Grievance Committee if your lawyer cheated you (see Phone List).
Free Legal Information/Advice
Legal Aid Immigration Unit: (212) 577-3456
Immigration Defense Project: (212)725-6422
Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants Rights: (212) 781-0355
Brooklyn Defenders Services: (718) 254-0700)
Bronx Defenders: (718) 383-7878
Pennsylvania Immigrant Resource Center: (717) 600-8099