Crime & Justice

ICE dramatically increases Southern California detention capacity

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The federal government is dramatically increasing its detention facilities in Southern California with a new facility in the San Bernardino County town of Adelanto.

Immigration authorities are adding 1,300 beds for suspected undocumented immigrants. Timothy Robbins says it’s part of an expansion plan that allows the federal government to more easily deport people. Robbins heads detention and removal operations in the region.

“We’ve increased over the last 18 months from 1,600 beds to now we are going to be somewhere in the range of 3- to 4,000 beds when we get done with this contract," says Robbins, "so obviously our removals here locally have had a huge impact.”

Deportations continue to rise, even as activists call on the Obama Administration to stop removing law-abiding undocumented immigrants. Robbins says the new facility will keep locked up immigrants closer to their families and attorneys.

Previously, authorities shipped many to detention facilities as far away as Texas. GEO, a Florida-based private prison company, will operate the detention center.