Local records requests filed by NIJC, often in partnership with local immigrant rights groups, have exposed how local governments have used the detention of immigrants as a revenue stream. Communications between private companies and federal, state and local officials have helped shed light on the “middleman contracting” scheme involving local authorities, which has been found to be improper under federal procurement law, and stifles accountability for violations that occur within the facility walls. These transparency efforts are important for community, legal, and legislative efforts to prevent the expansion of new ICE detention centers.
Immigration Centers of America (ICA) expansion efforts
Email correspondence obtained through local records requests details the inner workings of ICA’s first and only existing immigration detention center. Read NIJC's policy brief.
Documents reveal how ICA hired a lobbying firm, Cornerstone Government Affairs, to lobby Maryland officials in an effort to build a new ICE detention center in Queen Anne’s County. Records include correspondence between lobbyists and local officials as the town of Sudlersville drew up plans for an ordinance to allow the new detention center to be built. Read the documents.
Records relating to the proposal in Dwight, Illinois, by ICA to build a new ICE detention center within town limits. The documents include the ordinance and zoning proposals negotiated by the Dwight Village Board. Read the documents.
GEO Group expansion efforts:
Lake County, MI
Records on the environmental assessment conducted by consultants for the company GEO Group in the lead up to the construction of the new Bureau of Prisons (BOP) jail re-opened in Baldwin, Michigan. Read the documents.
Local governments doing business with ICE:
McHenry County, IL
Records detail the revenue generated by McHenry County, Illinois, for detaining people on behalf of ICE, as well as the county's contracts with private companies to fulfill the ICE contract. Read the documents.