New Law Banning For-Profit Detention Centers Faces Lawsuit
Sonora, CA – A private Florida firm has slapped California lawmakers with a lawsuit prior to a new measure banning for-profit prison and immigration detention centers takes hold in California.
The law Assembly Bill 32 that was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in October goes into effect Wednesday, Jan. 1st. The firm, GEO Group based in Boca Raton, filed a federal suit claiming the ban is unconstitutional and would unlawfully undermine enforcement criminal and immigration law. It has asked a federal court to permanently bar the law from taking effect as the federal government has supreme authority on such matters.
“There is a longstanding and clear-cut constitutional principle that individual states cannot regulate the actions and activities of the federal government, “ the Boca Raton, Florida company said in a statement.
Private companies run four federal detention centers in California. GEO just won two five-year contract extensions totaling $3.7 billion one to operate the detention center in Adelanto, with capacity for 2,690 beds, and another to run the facility in Bakersfield, with capacity for 1,800 beds. Under the new contracts, detention space in California is set to double to nearly 7,200 beds.
The lawsuit names Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra. According to supporters of AB 32, they had hoped the law would force U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to look elsewhere after current contracts expired.