This article in the Washington Post, demonstrates, clearly, what I have been saying about this new industry of detaining undocumented immigrants. Is this how a moral country creates new jobs?

The November death of a Prince William County man in immigration custody at Piedmont Regional Jail has prompted Immigration and Customs Enforcement to suspend placing new detainees at the facility, three hours south of the District near Farmville, Va.

In recent years, the rural six-county jail has contracted with ICE at rock-bottom rates to become a principal storehouse for noncitizen detainees from Northern Virginia and the District awaiting deportation. But since the Nov. 28 death of detainee Guido Newbrough, ICE has launched an investigation into medical care at the facility, and its detainee population had plunged from 330 to 53 as of yesterday. As a result, 50 jail employees have been laid off.

“It’s a depressed area to begin with,” he said. “There’s not much industry left here. And the loss of 50 jobs equates to a whole lot of hardship.”

I find this idea extremely disturbing, the idea of “investors” making money off of a very human dilemma, one that can only be resolved with comprehensive immigration reform.

The suspension comes at a particularly sensitive time for Piedmont and the town of Farmville. Piedmont had been earning $46.25 a day for each of the ICE detainees it housed in dormitory-style cells with triple bunk beds. Business was so robust that a group of investors announced a deal with Farmville officials last year to build a $21 million, 1,050-bed, privately run immigration detention facility there, pledging to covert the town into a hub for ICE operations in the mid-Atlantic region.

15 Thoughts to “A new industry to get us out of this economic disaster?”

  1. ShellyB

    This reminds me of Haliburton and Dick Cheney. Greedy people betting on bad things to happen on a massive scale. If there is profit in war, there can be profit in incarcerating people. Before the crazies go crazy, I have to point out that this is also happening to Americans. Even American kids. Judges are being bribed to throw more kids in jail. Guess who does the bribing: Prisons For Profit.

  2. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Crazies? I don’t see any crazies ’round here!

  3. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Greedy people betting on bad things to happen on a massive scale. With Obama at the helm, I’d say that’s where the smart money’s going.

  4. Moon-howler

    Prisoners are farmed out all the time. Many of our ADC ‘guests’ had to be housed in other facilities before the additon on the center was complete. This practice often places hardship on the families to want to visit their incarcerated loved ones.

    Obviously this facility had some serious issues with human rights, safety etc. I believe 2 people have died in that prison. So were do we house incarcerated people? NIMBY really raises its ugly head on this one.

  5. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Or, people could make correct decisions in life and not get incarcerated. Or can we not lay any blame on people who wind up in jail? It’s all society’s fault?

  6. Moon-howler

    Slow, I hope you weren’t accusing me of being soft of criminals. If you are, you are the first person. The correct decisions in life is a good plan…but bad decisions go back to Caine and Abel. (allegorically speaking of course)

    I believe in treating people humanely, or I strive to. There are some that make it tough. So how would you incarcerate people?

  7. Elena

    The underlying concern I have is that we are using human bodies, ill gotten from a broken immigration system, to make money. Where was the outrage when all these immigrant workers were building the homes in an unsustainable feeding frenzy of real estate? Where was all the outrage when the immigrants bought the homs that allowed many citizens to move up a rung in housing?

  8. SecondAlamo

    Crimes, no matter how minor or major, are committed by humans. So there is always a human element involved when enforcing the law that is meant to prevent these crimes. If a thousand shop lifters were at your local mall every weekend, and you knew they were there, would you be upset knowing that people were making money by apprehending these folks? Probably not, even though they may all be destitute individuals, so why is it that illegal immigrants get looked upon differently? Is it because they generally don’t speak the language, and somehow that makes you feel sorry for them? You have the overall view that they are all good people when in reality we know less about them than any other group in our history. The prisons are half filled with members of this group, and that has to tell you something!

  9. Moon-howler

    SA, Think back 15 years ago. Illegal immigrants (or immigrants in general from various countries) were able to adjust their status whereas today they are not. We aren’t talking about the person’s character changing, only the paper work involving that person.

    Put aother way, how is a lawabiding immigrant coming in from El Salvador any different from a lawabiding immigrant who escaped from Poland 40 years ago? One could claim political assylum. What determines that? Some bureaucrat. If we oppose a government, then those escaping somehow are going to be given a bye.

    Is there any way for anyone from any Latin American country to get legal status in the United States? Obviously marriage doesn’t work.

    I see much of this as political rather than the human condition. Now as for real criminals, I have no sympathy.

  10. SecondAlamo


    The fact that a disproportionate percentage of the illegal immigrant population is involved in crimes resulting in prison sentences has got to tell you that preventing illegal immigration also helps prevent crime. Regardless of all those who point to percentages in PWC. The national numbers are frightening. Prisons half full of people from a minor percentage of the nations population equals major problem. Facts not hearsay. Watch a segment of Gangland, and you get the picture!

  11. Moon-howler

    I have seen gangland. But I also don’t think that those shown represent the entire Latino population any more than I think that the prison scenes of blacks represents the entire black population or whites….

    I have read 40% of the prison population is not native born American. That can mean a lot of things. One thing it can mean is that not all of those represented there are illegal.

    Now, I am not advocating illegal immigration. Far from it. I still feel that law-abiding people need a way to adjust their status. I would far rather welcome those people who do the right thing than sit around and moan and groan about how things should be, when I know that just isn’t going to happen. From a pragmatic point of view, It is far better to pass a law that allows decent people to pay fines, adjust status, and become Americans than it is to do nothing as we have done for a number of years. Having a few ICE raids is just show. It does nothing other than cost money and allow people chest thump over it.

  12. Elena

    THank you for this very coherent explanation at 8:53. I am listening to CSPAN right now, talking about the changes in the judicial system since 2002, as it relates to immigration, VERY interesting. Makes me believe even more we need comprehensive change.

  13. hello

    I think that the fact that there is opportunity to make money on something such as this just goes to show how bad the problem really is. Also, can someone tell me why this isn’t a good thing in today’s economic situation? It’s going to create jobs for people to build it and to maintain and run it. The sad part is that some of the guys building it will end up being residents at some point.

  14. Elena, 19. February 2009, 22:03
    “Where was the outrage…”

    The outrage, and warnings, were there Elena…but nobody was listening.

  15. hello

    Elena, you said “Where was the outrage when all these immigrant workers were building the homes”… uh, really? Your telling me there was no outrage??? Where were you?

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