A federal judge in California ruled that the ban the state placed on private prisons is, for the most part, constitutional. The outcome of the ruling is that no new correctional facilities or immigration detention centers operated by private companies are allowable within the borders of the state. Also, the private facilities that already exist will not be able to review their licenses to operate upon the expiration of the current licensing agreement. The only privately owned jails allowable under AB 32 are those that benefit the United States Marshall’s Service.
Assembly Bill 32 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsome in October of 2019. The objective of the bill is to phase-out private jails and detention centers in the state.
The companies that operate the immigration detention centers in California were already the subject of criticism for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic. At one ICE processing center, 20 percent of the immigrants have tested positive for the virus.
The outlook for companies that operate private prisons in California may grow dimmer if Joe Biden can become the 46th president of the United States. Biden has vowed to terminate the federal use of these prisons and immigration detention centers if he wins the 2020 presidential election.
Opponents of AB 32 have filed several lawsuits against the state of California. Plaintiffs include Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and companies that are directly affected by the bill. The suits argued that the law was unconstitutional and detrimental to both the federal prison system and the ability of immigration services to do their job. ICE declined to comment on the matter, but the organization will likely appeal the decision.
The immigration process in America involves complex regulation that is subject to change. This process can be difficult for individuals without prior knowledge and experience to navigate. Individuals with immigration-related questions may find the answers they seek by speaking with an immigration attorney.