Opposing huge expansion of private prison detention facilities proposed for McFarland during city commission hearing
McFarland, Calif.—UFW Foundation, allied groups and community members are attending a city Planning Commission hearing at 6 p.m. today (Tuesday, Feb. 18) over the request by the private prison firm GEO Group to expand its existing 400-bed Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center in Bakersfield by converting two state prison facilities in McFarland into for-profit immigration detention centers. The result would expand GEO’s detention capacity in Kern County by 350 percent if the plan is approved.
Concerned the facilities will escalate immigration enforcement, detentions and deportations, community members will march against the expansion before a 4 p.m. news conference outside the hearing site. They see impacts from the significant expansion as troublesome, not just for undocumented families but for entire communities. The expansion will force farm workers to relocate. Others who migrate from the Coachella Valley each summer for the harvest season will be less likely to come to Kern County.
On March 13, 2018, a farm worker husband-and-wife couple, Santos Hilario Garcia and Marcelina Garcia Porfecto, died in a tragic car crash while fleeing pursuing ICE agents, leaving six young orphans ages eight to 18. Law-abiding undocumented farm workers who feed America and much of the world should be protected from deportation, UFW Foundation and its allies urge.
Farm workers and advocates will be available for interviews in English and Spanish.
What: McFarland city Planning Commission hearing on GEO Group’s request to convert two local state prison facilities into for-profit immigration detention centers.
Who: Rapid Response Network of Kern partners, including UFW Foundation, allied organizations, farm workers, community members.
When: Tuesday, February 18, 2020: March—4 p.m., news conference—5 p.m., hearing—6 p.m.
Where: March—Mi Rancho Market, 400 W. Perkins Ave., McFarland 93250; hearing and news conference—Veterans Memorial Hall, 103 W. Sherwood Ave., McFarland 93250.
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