Report Shows Laredo “Superjail” Unnecessary, Group Calls For No Action Alternative
Report Also Questions Impact of Superjail on Region’s Economy
LAREDO, TX – On July 24, 2006 Grassroots Leadership released “Ground Zero: The Laredo Superjail and the No Action Alternative,” a new report showing that the controversial 2,800 bed US Marshals Service detention center near Laredo is largely unnecessary. Analyzing US Marshals data, the report confirms that spikes in detention levels in the Laredo region are largely due to disproportionately increased prosecution of non-violent immigrants, and could be avoided with a shift in prosecutorial emphasis.
“This report concludes the USMS prison expansion in or near the Laredo area is unnecessary, and the best course of action is the no action alternative,” said Nicholas Hudson, the report’s author. “The data analyzed in this report indicates immigration-related detention is disproportionately represented compared to every other type of offense in the Texas South USMS district.”
The report also questions the assertion of the draft EIS that the region’s economy would benefit from the construction and operation of the detention center.
“The most authoritative evidence indicates the Laredo superjail would have no positive economic impacts on any of the proposed sites,” said Bob Libal, field organizer for Grassroots Leadership. “The region could experience detrimental economic impacts.”
⇒ A dramatic increase in prosecution for low-level immigration charges is primarily responsible for the increased levels of USMS detention in Texas south. In 2003, 53% of USMS detainees in Texas South were held on immigration charges. By 2004, almost two-thirds (62%) of the individuals detained in Texas South by the US Marshals were there on immigration-related charges.
⇒ Many of these detainees are held on “illegal entry” charges, and serve an average of 30 day sentences before being deported. Detainees on immigration charges made up 90% of the detention growth in the Texas South USMS region. http://www.stoppcoalition.org/