Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Battle rages in Florida over private detention center

Posted on: February 29th, 2012 by Nicolas Mendoza 5 Comments

Protesters demonstrating against the Corrections Corporation of America/Southwest Ranches proposal (Pic by Marcos Restrepo)

Residents opposed to a federally-funded, privately-managed immigration detention center in South Florida issued a statement Wednesday calling on President Obama to step in and halt the project.

A press release issued by No Prison in Southwest Ranches states: “Will the President step in and protect the people in this area from a project that has been kept silent by Corrections Corporation of America, LLC through invite only ‘advisory meetings’ policy of a ‘cone of silence’ by the Town of Southwest Ranches identified through public records requests and implemented by request of [Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and [Corrections Corporation of America]?”

Bill Di Scipio, a resident of Southwest Ranches and an opponent of the detention center, tells The Florida Independent that he and other residents have created a political action committee, Residents Against Inappropriate Development Inc., that “provides us with the legal means to raise money to defeat the hundreds of thousands of dollars that [Corrections Corporation of America] is now spending to make sure this happens.”

He adds that Corrections Corporation of America (also known as CCA) has recently sent out four different mailers and made two robocalls to residents’ homes.

DiScipio tells the Independent that, come time for the August and November 2012 elections, “we will end up supporting candidates in Southwest Ranches and perhaps on our congressional and senatorial level as well,” adding that the primary goal is to defeat the detention center.

The Florida Independent has reported extensively on the opposition to the immigration detention center set to be built in South Florida since Immigration and Customs Enforcement first announced it had chosen the Southwest Ranches/Corrections Corporation of America proposal in June 2011.

The land where the detention center is set to be built is owned by the Corrections Corporation of America, but surrounded by unincorporated Broward county land and the city of Pembroke Pines.

Pembroke Pines officials sent a letter to President Obama earlier this month asking him to intervene, along with a copy of a resolution opposing the detention center.

A CCA detention center facts website details the benefits that residents of Southwest Ranches and Pembroke Pines would receive from the project  - including tax revenue and jobs. According to the site, “Independent studies have shown no correlation between property values and proximity to a detention or corrections facility.”

But Di Scipio says that claim is a lie, citing an FIU/FAU study which “shows a direct correlation of a drop in housing values in the Goodyear, Arizona community situated next to a prison.”

The Florida Carpenters Regional Council recently told the Independent that it is working with CCA to secure the proposed detention center. According to Regional Council spokesman Miguel Fuentes, the project would create hundreds of jobs for local workers. Fuentes told us that he has participated in the robocalls.

The Broward Group of the Sierra Club expressed its opposition to the detention center earlier this month, arguing that it would impact the environment and further degrade what remains of Broward County’s natural areas.

Supporters of the proposal to build the detention center in Southwest Ranches include Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fl., and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fl.

Colorado residents ask Feds to withdraw lease parcels to go up for oil, gas auction

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

Scores of residents in Colorado’s North Fork Valley aren’t nearly as keen about oil and gas drilling as the wide-eyed Democrats and Republicans who talk about tapping America’s energy reserves. (more…)

Polis leads congressional effort to reform No Child Left Behind

Posted on: February 9th, 2012 by The American Independent 5 Comments

On the heels of news that the Obama administration has granted Colorado and 10 other states a waiver from the controversial requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind education law, Colorado Democratic Congressman Jared Polis introduced a House version of the Growth to Excellence Act (H.R. 3845) written by Colorado U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall. The bill would rework No Child Left Behind by granting greater authority to the states to develop student achievement and school accountability policies. (more…)

VIDEO: Reagan and Obama talking tax loopholes that allow wealthy to avoid paying ‘their fair share’

Posted on: February 7th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

You can count on one thing every time Republican presidential candidates get close to a primary or a debate: Ronald Reagan’s legacy will be invoked. (more…)

Romney favored to win Colorado GOP caucuses

Posted on: February 6th, 2012 by The American Independent 3 Comments

According to recent polling by Public Policy Polling, Mitt Romney looks primed for a big win in Colorado. He leads Republican voters in the state with 40% — compared with  26 % for Rick Santorum, 18% for Newt Gingrich, and 12% for Ron Paul. (more…)

Congressional leaders push Obama to expand fracking study

Posted on: February 3rd, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) are calling on President Obama to strengthen environmental and public health standards to protect against risks posed by hydraulic fracturing. (more…)

At LGBT conference leaders warn against too much focus on marriage over other issues

Posted on: January 30th, 2012 by Sofia Resnick 5 Comments

This weekend approximately 3,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists descended upon Baltimore, Md., for a national advocacy conference, while a few miles away the Republican branch of Congress — which consistently resists pro-LGBT policies – gathered for a retreat. (more…)

In Colorado, Obama links clean energy to national security

Posted on: January 27th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

President Barack Obama Thursday drew repeated applause at a private event at Aurora’s Buckley Air Force Base when he called on the country to work toward energy independence, which he called a matter of national security. (more…)