SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s attorney general on Wednesday asked the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a ruling that rejected the state’s first-in-the-nation ban on for-profit private prisons and immigration detention facilities.
The ruling last month by a three-judge appellate panel kept in place a key piece of the world’s largest detention system for immigrants — despite a 2019 state law aimed at phasing out privately-run immigration jails in California by 2028.
“They treat people like commodities, they pose an unacceptable risk to the health and welfare of Californians, they prioritize profits over rehabilitation — making us all less safe,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta, who wrote the law when he was in the state Assembly and filed the request for the review by a broader cross-section of the court.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a fellow Democrat who signed the law, said in a statement that the use of private immigration lockups “does not reflect the values of our state and disproportionately impacts minority and low-income communities.”
Five of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s eight immigration detention centers in California are run by private companies — in the cities of Adelanto, Bakersfield, Calexico, McFarland and San Diego.