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Immigration quietly increasing number of migrant families detained

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has quietly been increasing the number of migrant families in their detention facilities in South Texas, reports The Monitor.

The number of migrants who are processed through ICE and released locally has dropped significantly, according to the Sacred Heart Immigrant Respite Center in McAllen. Less than a month ago the center saw around 300 migrants a day, with the center now averaging about 90 people per day. People from the respite center and RAICES believe that the number is based off of the number of beds available in Karnes or Dilley family detention centers, which hold primarily Central American mothers and their children seeking asylum.

Last December, a judge in Austin ruled that the two facilities could not be licensed as child care facilities. During the time of the ruling, there were about 1,700 people in Dilley and 600 in Karnes. RAICES, which provide pro bono legal services at the two centers, said the numbers are now closer to 2,000 in Karnes and 700 in Dilley.

A temporary Customs and Border Protection processing center near the Donna-Rio Bravo Port of Entry may also increase the number of migrants ICE can process. By adding an additional processing center, ICE has another facility to process individuals arriving at the border before they are transferred to a different, permanent detention center. This processing center adds to the 12 detention centers already located south of San Antonio. These, like Karnes and Dilly, are operated by for-profit prison companies that contract with the U.S. government.

 

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GEO Group earning call highlights contract bids in Texas

GEO Group's quarterly conference call was held on Monday.  The calls are a great way to see how the private prison industry thinks about the prison system and where expansion opportunities may lie.  

On this call, GEO executives talked to investors about recent company developments and where it sees its future business opportunities, including several in Texas.  Here are some of the highlights, as it relates to Texas' private prison industry:

  • GEO has activated the 600-bed Karnes County Civil Detention Center, the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement-contracted facility, which the company expects will bring $15 million annualized revenues.
  • GEO Care, a GEO Group fully owned subsidiary, is planning on bidding for on a formal RFP to operate one state mental health hospital.
  • GEO's transport division is bidding on contracts with ICE in the Dallas area and a Customs and Border Patrol contract along the SW Border.  These were described as the two largest transport procurement options currently in bidding.
  • GEO's BI electronic monitoring subsidiary is poised to increase profits if a recommended 40-50% budget increase goes through to expand Immigration and Customs Enforcement's electronic monitoring contract.

The company mentioned that they are closely monitoring developments on all of these fronts, and so will we.  We'll keep you posted on developments.  

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