The Money Trail of Having For-Profit Prisons

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By:Scott Emerick, Senior Associate – Bolour/Carl Immigration Group

A recent NPR article reported that GEO, a for profit prison company, had renewed a contract with the Federal Government to operate its immigration detention facility in Adelanto, CA.  The contract also provided for an expansion of the facility.  The contract coincides with an increasing detention facility population for those in immigration proceedings.

Through this scheme – everyone – except the detainees – make money!

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (The Act,) Congress distinguished between foreign nationals that must be detained and foreign nationals that could be detained – referred to as mandatory and non-mandatory detention respectively.  The Act states that people who commit certain crimes (typically crimes that involve moral turpitude, drugs, crimes that a person was imprisoned for a year or more for, or terrorist activities) are subject to mandatory detention and ICE must take them into custody.  Non-mandatory detention is for anyone who can be removed from the U.S. including even if the person just fell out of status.

A person who is detained but who is not subject to mandatory detention can ask for a bond hearing, which can be held fairly quickly after being detained.  Oftentimes, being granted bond involves proving that the person is not a danger to society, has ties in the community, and can include posting money that is surrendered if the person fails to appear for their immigration hearings. 

If a person is subject to mandatory detention they could also become eligible for bond depending on where they are detained.  For instance, in California a detainee who is under mandatory detention can become eligible for bond after six months, known as a Rodriguez bond, named after the Ninth Circuit case Rodriguez v. Robbins.  Of course, this does not guarantee that bond will be granted, only that the detainee will be given a chance to be heard by an immigration judge.  The detainee must still show that they should be released based on the particular circumstances of their case that he or she is not a danger to society and that he or she will continue to appear for immigration hearings.

If you or someone you know is detained for immigration purposes, contact our office at (323) 857-0034 to discuss the case and determine if bond is available. 

Every case is unique.  This article is not intended to be legal advice and should not be taken as such.  Please visit our website – http://americanvisas.netformore information on our services.

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