Detention center will aid in US security

Most conservatives rightly agree that a safe America hinges firmly on a strong immigration policy. Only when a free nation secures its borders and enforces an orderly, humane process for deporting those living here illegally can it begin to protect law-abiding citizens from hostile threats to our homeland.

One facility coming soon to South Florida will play a key role in that essential U.S. protection system.

The South Florida Detention Center will house up to 1,500 illegal immigrants awaiting deportation in a remote facility tucked away in an industrial park in Southwest Broward County. In addition to providing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to area public coffers, the South Florida Detention Center will prove critical to the federal government’s mission to enforce a fair, reliable and sound immigration policy.

The $75 million facility is the latest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center coming online to help process the undocumented thousands who have secreted across our borders and have taken up residence without going through the proper channels required of generations of immigrating Americans.

The vast majority of these people have no criminal record and pose no immediate threat to South Florida, but their deportation is necessary to America’s system of laws and principles of equality. The South Florida Detention Center, therefore, is not a prison, and it will not hold any detainees facing charges for criminal acts. Instead, this secure, state-of-the-art facility will house detainees as they await civil proceedings to repatriate them to their home countries, a process that takes an average of 30 days.

Owned and operated by CCA, the pioneer in private corrections management and a veteran ICE partner, the facility has been carefully designed, in close consult with local officials, to have no negative impact on the quality of life of area residents while carrying out this important national security mission. Located next to a women’s prison and a county landfill less than a mile from U.S. 27, the center will not be visible from the road, nor will it noticeably affect local traffic patterns or property values.

Most importantly, built with high-tech security features, it will be completely safe. CCA has a proven record of ensuring that any and all transportation of detainees to and from its centers follow the strictest safety procedures. When deportation hearings are completed, trained CCA staff will either escort detainees directly to an airport for deportation or release them into the custody of family members to rejoin their communities throughout the region.

Though America’s immigration and enforcement policies can be a lightning rod for debate in this country, ICE is charged with a strictly defined mission: to identify and secure illegal immigrants so they can be repatriated to their homelands. Responsible community partners like CCA, with its commitment to blending inconspicuously into the community and contributing to its tax base, ensure that the process is orderly, safe and humane.

Not only will the South Florida Detention Center be held to ICE’s heightened Performance Based National Detention Standards in ensuring the health and well-being of its charges, but it will do so while guaranteeing the surrounding community benefits economically, is safe and feels no ill effects.

It’s not every day that a beneficial economic development project of such national importance lands on our shores. Southwest Ranches, and all of South Florida, can take pride in the contributions the South Florida Detention Center will mean to our region.

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