Last fall, Goshen, Indiana, seat of the conservative Elkhart County which overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, was approached by private prison company CoreCivic with plans for a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility. However, instead of quickly signing on the dotted line with the promise of financial windwall, the Goshen citizenry took pause, and began to voice their concerns.
Last month, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice denied MuckRock a fee waiver for a public records request regarding immigration policy, stating that the TDCJ “does not waive fees for this type of request.” Last year, TDCJ made the same argument to justify a cost estimates of over one million dollars for records related to sexual assault in prison. This begs the question - what type of requests do TDCJ waive fees for?
The federal government is currently looking to house thousands of migrant children and families in new locations, including military bases and, potentially, new facilities to be managed by private corporations already heavily-involved in the American detention system.
Across the country, law enforcement is grappling with the moral and legal complexity of cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While ICE continues to send out requests to detain inmates on their behalf, recent court cases like Roy v. Los Angeles have limited the ability of law enforcement to comply. However these issues aren’t new - as records released last week show, California has been documenting the debate over cooperating with immigration officials for over 25 years.
Here are five close-to-home ways for you to learn more about the private prison industry, and to contribute to the ongoing discussion about their use.
|ICE "overbroad" response|