The Pembroke Pines City Commission may have spent years quietly voting in support of the development of CCA's proposed immigration detention facility in Southwest Ranches (read our feature here), but now the commission is going full steam ahead with vocally opposing its construction.
This is largely in response to public sentiment against the facility that has grown in recent months (though the Southwest Ranches town attorney says the opponents are a small minority).
Now Pines residents have elected two commissioners who oppose the facility, and last night the commission reviewed a resolution of opposition and agreed to send a letter to President Obama. Yeah, you read that right.
Iris Siple, the vice-mayor, has been the most outspoken opponent of the prison plans since last summer, and she won reelection last night against challenger Christopher Ziadie.
Commissioner Jack McCluskey, who had not voted the way opponents wanted in recent weeks, was defeated by the opponent's choice candidate, Jay Schwartz. This was Schwartz's line on the stump:
I ask my fellow residents to join me to fight against having this facility in our community. It will have a negative impact on our lives, our children, and I encourage you to reach out to all elected officials and tell them to stand up for us.
We noted toward the end of our cover story that the commission voted in January to draft a letter opposing the prison to President Obama. They discussed a letter to send last night (we're working on getting a copy), as well as the following long-winded draft resolution. It firmly places the town government, for the first time, officially in opposition.
"We're not willing to accept the detention center. We want it out of there," said Commissioner Carl Schechter.
"This was sort of a class project," said Commissioner Angelo Castillo, citing the cooperation of homeowners' associations in crafting the draft resolution.
We've heard that the resolution was passed but are waiting to confirm. Final resolution on its way as well.
Ppines Oppose Ice Facility Resolution