Monday, January 05, 2009

$44 million to flow into system for tracking immigrant detainees

This is crazy. Check out the previous post showing the growth of the detention center industry across the U.S. Couching these expenditures under the auspices of national security should concern us all.


By Hernán Rozemberg | San Antonio Express-News
November 27, 2008

Facing increased pressure to keep an organized system for the growing number of unauthorized immigrants kept in detention, the federal government is about to pump millions into a new tracking network.

The agency responsible for the arrest, detention and deportation of unauthorized migrants, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement within the Homeland Security Department, will spend as much as $44 million over the next four years for the new program.

Tasked to develop the new Web-based detention management system is Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman, which won the contract. The tech giant, a traditional hub for military contracts, will team up with nine other companies, including Dell in Austin.

Northrop Grumman said the wireless network will allow ICE, which manages about 33,000 detainees in more than 300 prisons around the country, to keep better track of movement of detainees from one prison to another and how much bed space is available at each location. It also will be able to link the information to other databases.

The company said in a news release that the new system “will significantly increase safety and security, reduce processing time, minimize network and cellular traffic and provide a common interface for (homeland security) agents.”

The government hopes the new technology will help manage the immigration detention system, which has dramatically expanded with yearly budget increases in the wake of the post-9-11 security boost.

“Ultimately, our goal is to continue to look for improved efficiencies, and use new technologies to that end,” said Carl Rusnok, regional spokesman for ICE in Dallas.

Northrop Grumman's contract calls for $14 million for one year, with up to three annual renewals totaling more than $44 million.

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