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Adelanto officials sold the building that houses the detention center, a former state prison, to GEO in 2010.

But the city holds the contract for its operation, and receives a cut of the amount ICE pays for the service.

The bill would only bar local governments from working with for-profit detention contractors; it would not prohibit them from contracting detention space directly to ICE, as does the Orange County Sheriff's Department, for example.

Immigration authorities have increasingly relied on private contractors and local governments for space to house immigrants awaiting or fighting deportation since the early 2000s, when the detainee population exploded as a result of tighter immigration policies.

Last year, Woodard championed a new revenue source an ordinance that allows medical marijuana cultivation in the city.

Proponents of Lara's detention bill say it would affect four local governments in California that work with private detention contractors, Adelanto included.

While its scope seems limited, the bill would affect many more local-government contracts in other ways: a provision of the bill would make it mandatory for all immigrant detention facilities in California to comply with federal standards guidelines that are now optional.

Apr 13, 2016 California state measure calls for end to profit-making immigrant detention contracts A new state bill aims to stop California cities and counties from contracting with private prison companies that detain immigrants, but the effort is generating pushback from one locality. Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts with Adelanto for detention space for up to 1,455 immigrants at 2.50 per detainee, per day.

"The goal is to prohibit these for-profit companies from profiting off the backs of immigrants." Cities like Adelanto depend on detention space revenue.

In Adelanto, which nearly went bankrupt last year, City Council member John Bug Woodard, a self-described Tea Party Republican, said the GEO contracts are vital to the city's economy.

"I think a good 25 percent of our income comes from those jailhouses," Woodard said.

"GEO is an important part of this community, and any idiot up in Sacramento that would like us not to do business with them, theyve got their heads where the sun dont shine." Adelanto has been fighting to stave off bankruptcy in recent years.


With the Adelanto facility's daily population averaging roughly 1,200 and based on the per-diem rate, ICE pays up to about million a month and more if the detention center is filled to its 1,940-detainee capacity. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) could put an end to Adelanto's immigrant detention contract."For far too long, our immigration system has promoted profits over people," Lara told KPCC.


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