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Immigration Jails Harm Local Economies: Study

July 17, 2023 (1 min read)

Megan Gleason, Source NM, July 14, 2023

"Lawmakers blocked a bill in the 2023 legislative session that would’ve prohibited local New Mexico governments from hiring federal immigration officers to detain migrants, arguing that detention centers boost local economies. That may not be entirely true, according to a recent report published by Innovation Law Lab, a nonprofit that provides support for immigrants. Immigration prisons often bring the promise of new jobs and economic development to rural areas, according to the report. However, detention centers actually often employ people who aren’t local and are “focused on cutting costs and maximizing profits for executives and shareholders rather than investing in local communities,” the report states. That’s why Innovation Law Lab encourages repurposing existing facilities into something else that would better financially support local communities."