Residents Oppose Immigration Detention Center

Company Slated To Run Prison Offers Southwest Ranches Cut Of Money

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. - A battle is brewing in western Broward County over an immigration detention center the government wants to build.

The possible location for the center, which would be the nation's largest, would be just west of Interstate 75 near Sheridan Street and Pines Boulevard.

Residents who live in nearby Southwest Ranches and Pembroke Pines say they don't want the center in their neighborhood.

"There's been no studies done as far as how it's going to affect our traffic, the water," said resident Ryann Greenberg. "We don't know if there's water availability. We're already having water pressure issues out here. And what about crime?"

In June, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bigwigs announced they were hatching a plan with Southwest Ranches to build the center there. Soon after, irate neighbors gathered at the town hall in protest. Most of the frustration was over why no one would talk to them about it.

Some of the same residents are now taking to Twitter and Facebook, waging a high-tech grassroots opposition campaign.

But Southwest Ranches could reap the benefits of having detainees in its borders. The private company slated to run the prison offered the town a cut of the money it gets per prisoner.

To Greenberg, that just isn't worth it.

"It just doesn't belong here, and I'm really, really heartbroken that they're going to ruin our community with it," Greenberg said.

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