L.A. Reaffirms Pro-Immigrant Stance; Trump Vows $ Reprisals

Los Angeles officials say the city will maintain its longstanding position as a sanctuary for immigrants. Meanwhile, President-elect Trump has vowed to block all federal funding for sanctuary cities in his first 100 days in office. The move would create chaos since more than 350 counties, cities and states have declared themselves immigrant sanctuaries.

CCA Gets $1 Billion To Run Half-Full Detention Center

The Obama administration skipped bidding process to give the Corrections Corporation of America a big contract that pays the company even if its facility is half-full. “What I see is a very expensive incarceration scheme,” says Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Ca.), the top Democrat on the House’s Immigration and Border Security subcommitte.

Poor Medical Care Cited For 25 Who Died In U.S. Lockups For Immigrants

Three private companies run 11 immigrant-only contract prisons for the federal government: five by the GEO Group, four by the Corrections Corporation of America, and two by Management & Training Corporation. Repeated federal audits and reports have found these facilities to be in crisis, The Nation reports. “These prisons operate without the same systems of accountability as regular Bureau of Prisons facilities, and prisoners suffer,” said Carl Takei, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who co-authored a 2014 report documenting the subpar conditions. The Nation obtained more than 9,000 pages of medical records that contractors submitted to the BOP. They include the records for 103 of at least 137 people who have died in federal contract prisons from 1998 (the year after the first one opened) through 2014.

U.S. Put Some Migrant Kids In Homes Where They Were Assaulted, Exploited

As tens of thousands of children fleeing Central American violence crossed the border seeking safe harbor, overwhelmed U.S. officials weakened child protection policies, placing some migrants in homes where they were sexually assaulted, starved or forced to work for little or no pay, reports the Associated Press. Without enough beds to house the record numbers of arrivals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lowered safety standards during border surges to move children out of government shelters swiftly into sponsors’ homes. The procedures were increasingly relaxed as the number of young migrants rose in response to spiraling gang and drug violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, said material AP obtained, some under the Freedom of Information Act. The government stopped fingerprinting most adults seeking to claim the children. In April 2014, the U.S. stopped requiring original copies of birth certificates to prove most sponsors’ identities.

States, Cities Split On “Tough Policy Problem” Of Federal Deportation Raids

Some 121 people, mostly women and children from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, were rounded up this month in federal raids primarily in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas amid growing fears that the U.S. faces a surge of illegal unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America comparable to 2014. So far 77 have been deported. Stateline reports that the the deportation raids have caused fear in U.S. immigrant communities and highlight the wide confusion and political division among federal, state and local authorities on how the nation should deal with as many as 11 million undocumented immigrants, most of whom entered the country illegally across the southern border. The Democratic mayors of Philadelphia and New Haven, Ct., said they would not cooperate with the deportation efforts. The Democratic New York City Council announced that city agencies would not report undocumented people to federal authorities.