Gov. Jerry Brown in June signed a bill establishing a moratorium on any expansion of immigrant detention beds at public facilities across California, a move aimed at blunting the Trump administration’s statewide immigration crackdown.
Now, immigrants’ rights advocates are urging Brown to sign a similar bill from state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, that would prevent cities, counties and local law enforcement agencies from entering into new contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to expand immigration holds at for-profit facilities. It would also bar local agencies from expanding the number of detention beds under current contracts with for-profit companies.
“For-profit immigration detention is a black hole where asylum seekers can spend months in conditions that are hidden from public eye,” Lara said in a statement. “Senate Bill 29 would extend the moratorium on expanding detention that Gov. Brown signed in June to include for-profit companies so California can ensure the human rights and dignity of those immigrants detained in our state.”
Assembly Bill 103, a budget trailer bill adopted in late June, prevents any city, county or local law enforcement agency from entering into a new contract with the federal government or adding detention beds for immigrant detainees at current facilities. It also requires the state attorney general to investigate conditions in the facilities. Lara’s bill would carry the same mandate at for-profit detention centers that contract with California cities. It would also make for-profit detention centers subject to the California Public Records Act and require local governments to hold public hearings before issuing building permits to expand detention holds.
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Advocates are holding a rally beginning at 11 a.m. at 1515 Clay St., Oakland, to urge Brown to sign the bill.
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