“What happens if you privatize prisons is that you have a large industry with a vested interest in building ever-more prisons.” -- Molly Ivins, 2003

Young mother with brain tumor to be released by ICE

A young mother with a brain tumor is set to be released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to a press release from Amnesty International.

As we previously reported, Sara Beltran Hernandez was picked up by ICE at a Texas hospital, where doctors had told Beltran Hernandez that she had a brain tumor. Officials from ICE said that she was stable and  that her doctors were voluntarily releasing her into their custody. They then took her to the Praireland Detention Center, a private immigrant detention facility operated by the for-profit prison company Emerald Corrections.

Following a mobilization and campaign by Amnesty International, ICE released Beltran Hernandez. She will be permitted to live with her family in New York as she receives treatment for her brain tumor and her asylum case move forward. Eric Ferrero, of Amnesty International USA, said, "Sara and her family are overjoyed that she will finally be able to be with her loved ones and receive medical care after being unjustly detained for over 400 days."  


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ICE closing Haskell County Detention Center

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is moving detainees from the Rolling Plains Jail and Detention, causing the facility to close, reports KTAB/KRBC in Abilene.

The detention center, located in Haskell County, is a private prison for immigrants operated by corrections sector of Emerald Companies. ICE said they were “not happy with the current management company,” and so they will be moving detainees over the next to weeks to a new facility. The facility to which they are moving inmates is located in Alvarado Texas, where Emerald operates another detention facility, the Praireland Detention Center.  

County Judge David Davis assured residents in a press release that ICE had not pulled the contract with the Rolling Plains Jail and Detention center. He told residents that ICE still needed beds and if the county could find a new operator, ICE would continue to contract with the facility. While they look for a new operator, county officials are working with other counties to house prisoners from the Haskell County Jail, which is located inside the detention facility.

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ICE seize undocumented woman with brain tumor from Texas hospital

An undocumented woman with a brain tumor has been picked up from a Texas hospital, reports The New York Daily News.

Sara Beltran Hernandez was taken from Texas hospital Wednesday night by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the Praireland Detention Center, which is operated by the private prison company Emerald Corrections. A spokesperson from ICE said that Beltran Hernandez was stable and was  voluntarily discharged by her doctor to the private facility, pending an appointment with a specialist. Her family members, who live in New York, have worked hard on a petition for her asylum case. They were able to obtain Beltran Hernandez's medical records, but have no say over her medical care.

We will keep you up to date on this case as new information is released.

New DOJ Attorney General Sessions reverses policy on private prisons

The Department of Justice's new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has issued a new memo rescinding last summer's decision to phase out the use of private prisons. According to Rewire, Sessions instructed the Bureau of Prisons on Thursday to once again rely on private prisons.

Last August, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memo saying that the BOP would begin phasing out the use of private prisons and would not renew any contracts that were being reviewed. This statement followed a review by the Department of Homeland Security into the conditions of private prisons and whether they were still productive or necessary. Following the announcement, stocks in private prison companies dropped dramatically.


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