ICE Says It Won't Build Detention Center in Southwest Ranches

The federal agency says it's examining its options in the region

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012  |  Updated 12:23 PM EDT
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Local residents react to the decision.

Local residents react to the decision.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday that it will not build the detention center it has sought in Southwest Ranches.

"ICE has reevaluated its need for an additional detention facility in South Florida and has decided that it will no longer pursue a facility in the town of Southwest Ranches,” the agency said in a statement Friday afternoon. “We are examining our options for additional detention space in the region and will make the appropriate notifications when a decision about the way forward has been made.”

The agency had been seeking to build a 1,800-bed facility there since last year. It would have housed detainees and undocumented immigrants much like the Krome Detention Center in Miami-Dade, but the project drew strong local opposition.

Commissioners in next-door Pembroke Pines were glad to hear ICE's decision to abandon its plans for the facility, which would have gone on a site of about 24 acres east of U.S. 27 between Sheridan Street and Stirling Road, The Miami Herald reported.

“It was not a very popular idea here,’’ Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo said. “In fact, that’s understating it. It was a dreaded idea.”

Castillo told the Herald that the local outcry was so large that the federal government must have noticed – but pointed out that ICE's statement suggests the change may have been made because the government realized it already had enough detention beds.

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