2010’s Rappleye and Riordan Seville Lead The Nation with Piece on Immigration Detention

  • By CUNY J-School Staff

A story by Class of ’10 alums Hannah Rappleye and Lisa Riordan Seville on a Georgia town’s dependence on an immigration detention center has been published by The Nation.

“How One Georgia Town Gambled Its Future on Immigration Detention” tells the tale of Ocilla, Ga., a town nearly 200 miles from Atlanta that turned a half-empty prison into a detention facility for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

“ICE’s reliance on facilities like the Irwin County Detention Center has put small rural towns at the center of one of today’s most contentious policy arguments — how to enforce immigration law,” the story said. “Even as Georgia and Alabama passed harsh new immigration laws last year designed to keep out undocumented immigrants, documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that politicians from both states were lobbying hard to bring immigrant detainees in. ICE succumbed to the pressure, sending hundreds of detainees to the financially unstable facility in Georgia that promised to detain immigrants cheaply. That promise came at the expense of the health, welfare and rights to due process of some 350 immigrants detained daily in Ocilla.”

Support for the yearlong investigation was provided by the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute and the Puffin Foundation.

Read the entire story here.