No Mesa Verde Expansion!
Community members through out Kern County and across the state are united against incarceration and detention, join organizers in demanding no exapansion of any form of Mesa Verde Detention Center in Bakersfield. Please sign your organization in support! #DignityNotDetention
The administration has announced mass detention as part of its xenphobic and anti-immigrant agenda, help us pressure local elected officials to side with the community and prevent this expansion. For more information on mesa verde conditions you can find more information here:
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Dear City of McFarland Councilmembers:
We write as stakeholders across the state to express our concern over the rumored expansion of the Mesa Verde Detention facility. As you know, this facility operates through a series of contracts, including one between the City of McFarland and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and another with the prison corporation the GEO Group Inc. (GEO) for the daily operation of the facility. Given the rumors that this facility might be expanding and given the City’s involvement in the contract, we write to respectfully request written confirmation that the City will not be party to any expansion.
In recent months, several news outlets have reported on alleged plans to expand the Mesa Verde Detention Facility. See e.g., John Cox, Bakersfield.com, Owner: The Bakersfield Dome will be demolished to allow expansion of detention center, July 3, 2018; John Cox, Bakersfield.com, Mesa Verde operator confirms property transactions, but denies expansion plans, July 5, 2018. While we appreciate that there are conflicting reports, and that GEO has been quoted as stating that there are no plans to expand, given the severity of the allegation, we respectfully request a similar confirmation from the City of McFarland.
In addition to the policy considerations weighing against such an expansion, the City’s participation in the expansion of the Mesa Verde Detention Center would be unlawful under California State Law. Under the Dignity not Detention Act, Senate Bill 29, codified at Cal. Code Section 1670.9, a city with an existing immigration detention contract with the federal government or private prison corporation, may not “renew or modify that contract in a manner that would expand the maximum number of contract beds.” Reviewing the Intergovernmental Service Agreement (IGSA) between the City of McFarland and ICE, there is a 400 person maximum. Under SB 29, the IGSA cannot be modified to expand the number of immigration detention facility beds. Additionally, per SB 29 the City may not “approve or sign a deed, instrument, or other document related to a conveyance of land or issue a permit for the building or reuse of existing buildings by any private corporation [for immigration detention purposes] unless the city…” has both provided public notice at least 180 days before executing the conveyance or permit, and has heard public comments in at least two separate public meetings. While the City should never reach the point of approving such a permit since the immigration jail contract may not be expanded, it’s worthwhile to note the various ways the state of California has spoken out against such growth.
In sum, we respectfully request written and public confirmation that the City of McFarland will not be party to any type of expansion of the Mesa Verde Detention Center. We would appreciate a statement or correspondence on this request by November 23rd.
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This form was created inside of California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance.