Wasserman Schultz In Trouble Over Support For Huge Prison



U. S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has problems in her backyard after a rare political slip up with Pembroke Pines residents.


Wasserman Schultz signed a letter of support for construction of a new 1,800-bed, privately-operated federal detention facility in Southwest Ranches. She then found out that hundreds, maybe thousands, of near-by Pines resident oppose it.

The building would be operated by Corrections Corporation of America and filled with men and women detained by the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The detention facility is proposed for a enclave of Southwest Ranches, which is surrounded by Pembroke Pines or unincorporated Broward on all sides.

Southwest Ranches, whose residents are far from the project, want the millions in tax money it will pump into the city.

Nearby Pines residents oppose the facility, complaining it would choke the mainly-rural streets with traffic.  They cite potential danger from escaping or released inmates and visitors to the facility.

The congresswoman is from Weston and doubles as the chair of the Democratic National Committee. She sat down with Hispanic leaders recently to explain her support of the project.

Wasserman Schultz told Hispanics that when she signed the letter for CCA, she did not know there was opposition to the project, according to a participant.

Asked to change her position, Wasserman Schultz refused.

The facility is on the edge of Wasserman Schultz’s district.  Some of the residents who are complaining live to the south and are represented by U. S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami.

But everybody can vote for or against another Democrat who supported construction of the CCA facility – U. S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

An e-mail to Wasserman Schultz’s media spokesman went unanswered, which is no surprise.

14 Responses to “Wasserman Schultz In Trouble Over Support For Huge Prison”

  1. Le_Philosophe says:

    The normally beautiful DWS is reeling from the poor performance of the dems and the lack of support for the Prez from key constituencies. She is already in trouble and this only will make matters worse. Obviously it was a political calculation that she made. If the Republicans had anyone other than this obsessive complainer running against her I suppose she would be in real trouble.

  2. Senator John Blutarsky says:

    By the way, the proposed prison site in Southwest Ranches is NOT surrounded by Pembroke Pines on all sides. It is bordered on the west by Unincorporated Broward County. It is also adjacent to a smelly landfill and a womens prison. Frankly, this is the best place ever for a prison. the fact that Pembroke Pines bastardized the state statutes regarding annexation and cherry-picked the areas north of Sheridan Street with ridiculous, illogical boundaries and now continuously finds its higher-density area conflicting with Southwest Ranches and its lower density areas (remember the road-closings to reduce the pass-through traffic)is hilarious. But, by far the most satisfying part of this story is that DWS is in over her head (as usual).


    Thank you. I stand corrected and I changed it.

    To the north is a parcel of unincorporated Broward containing the landfill. It is not smelly because it accepts largely construction debris and yard waste, and no household trash.

    To the west and south are two unincorporated parcels — one containing a state women’s prison and other largely vacant.

    To the east is Pembroke Pines.

    But the entire parcel is far away from Southwest Ranches. And any impact will be felt by Pembroke Pines.

  3. S only says:

    I still love Debbie!

  4. woody72 says:

    It’s refreshing to see a politician make a statement without sticking their finger into the political wind first.

  5. Broward SWR Dem says:

    Good for Debbie! Finally someone who is trying to bring jobs to our community and a great tax revenue! This small group of Pines residents, following a California based group opposed to immigration, are being lead down the wrong path are trying to kill a deal that would benefit the entire County. As someone who lives nearby I actually spent the time and did some homework on this site before I picked up the phone to complian about something that I had no knowledge of. I assume these Pines residents know that in 1997 CCA acquired the parcel in response to Broward County’s Request for Proposals to privatize its jail system. I assume they also learned that the location was ideal due to the fact that it has been zoned for heavy industrial uses, including prisons, since the 1970s, is adjacent to a maximum security woman’s jail, the site of the future maximum security men’s jail, a land fill, and the Everglades. I assume their research also revealed that after Sheriff Cochran’s untimely death, Broward County decided to run its own jail system and as such CCA began to explore other correctional uses of the property, and continued to work with Broward County on developing the site. I also found out that in response to the quality of service and costs of providing services to the unincorporated areas, during this exact same time, Broward County passed a law requiring all unincorporated areas to be incorporated by 2010. There were several bills filed to annex the area now known as the Town of Southwest Ranches, and one of those bills was amended to actually serve as the formation of the Town. The Town was formed on June 6, 2000; so the parcel was actually slated to be a prison/correctional institution long before the Town was actually formed.

    This site has been platted (approved by the County and the Town); has the proper land use (approved by the County, the Town, and the State); has the proper zoning and an approved site plan. They could build a facility as of right today as of right.

    Great job to our Congresswoman who is trying to make lemons into lemonade!

  6. Seriously The Residents Didn't Know! says:

    I commend Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz! Seriously, can any resident in this area really say with a straight face that they had no idea that this site was going to be used for a correctional institution? Were they living in a vaccuum? The item was fully debated for nearly 14 years and had countless newspaper articles written about it. A simple on line search found that it had been discussed at the following meetings:

    As it relates to the City of Pembroke Pines:

    Delegation Request: September 21, 2005

    Interlocal Agreement: October 17, 2005

    Interlocal Agreement: November 14, 2005

    Interlocal Agreement: December 21, 2005

    Interlocal Agreement: December 20, 2006

    Fire Agreement w/ County:
    October 20, 2010

    Delegation Request: February 2, 2011

    Fire Agreement: June 27, 2011

    Prison & Road Discussion:
    August 2, 2011

    Fire Agreement: August 17, 2011

    Prison Discussion: October 5, 2011

    As it relates to the Town of Southwest Ranches:

    Resident Input Workshop:
    April 1, 2004

    Site Plan: July 14, 2005 2005-93

    Delegation Request: August 10, 2005 2005-100

    Site Plan Extension: August 10, 2005 2005-101

    Interlocal Agreement: October 17, 2005

    Interlocal Agreement: November 14, 2005

    Interlocal Agreement: December 20, 2005

    Delegation Request: July 6, 2006 2006-079

    Interlocal Agreement: January 4, 2007 2007-022

    Site Plan Extension: June 14, 2007 2007-075

    Site Plan Extension: December 13, 2007 2008-026

    Site Plan Extension; December 4, 2008 2009-019

    Delegation Request: January 6, 2011 2011-026

    Prison Code Amendment: October 20, 2010, November 3, 2010 2011-003

    Public Workshop: November 10, 2010

    Interlocal Agreement: November 3, 2011 2011-011

    Pines Fire Agreement: June 23, 2011 2011-068

    As it relates to Broward County (their records are harder to search on line):

    Delegation Request: December 13, 2005 069-MP-93

  7. Notprisontown says:

    You political hacks need to do better than that.

    The Debbie Wasserman-Schultz/Keith Poliakoff ICE Detention Center is kind of a funny way of showing a core constituency how much she cares.

    Maybe she considers locking up immigrants in her prison to be a sort of outreach to the immigrant community!

    And if this is so much out in the open, why did SWR try to double the size of the facility on January 6th 2011, when most of the county had barely finished taking back the unwanted ties and perfume from the holidays?

    Why did SWR/CCA withdraw the plat amendment? Why did they invoke a “cone of silence?” Hmmm?

  8. Miguel says:

    funny to see supporters of this project saying it will bring jobs to the area of SWR!! LOL. Like people in SWR with there >500,000 dollar houses and alot of them over 1million dollars will work in a detention center.

    They are only for the money the town will get. W/O thinking about the traffic (or do you think everybody working there will go on bike from SWR??), noise pollution, 50-100 detainees left free everyday without a ride, healthcare issues etc. I hope that when this detainees with their increase risk for Tuberculosis go to the nearest hospital they end up next to a SWR patient waiting to be seen!!!

  9. Common Man says:

    Not only is Debbie Wasserman Schultz in trouble over this but so is the entire Pembroke Pines City Commission.

    The Pembroke Pines City Commission did a behind the scenes deal with no public input and sent the agreement over to Southwest Ranches where they added on Water and Sewer services.

    The Pines Commission led by Iris Siple then had a Kubuki theater style hearing where they acted like they were the victims.

    What a load!

    City Attorney Sam Goren sat there demurely and said that if they tried to change the deal they would get sued.

    City Manager of private contract for services fame sat there like a Cheshire Cat and smiled.

    Guess what people? Charlie Dodge runs the city from his home in Southwest Ranches and benefited from the Water, Sewer and Fire Rescue deal.

    Gotta love Pembroke Pines

    Thanks for writing about this Buddy.

    Yours Truly,

    The Little People a/k/a Regular Folks

    P.S. We are onto you all and your blatant Shenanigans!

  10. JAQUEBAUER says:

    There should be no detention center, as it is not needed . These criminals should be removed the day they are caught, shot on site, or given a cyanide pill. No need to house feed and care for these criminals–only a hole in the ground is needed.

    The criminals in the Federal Government, like Eric holder, Janet Napalitano, and Obama, who fail to enforce immigration law under the constitution should be impeached. These Communists are enablers and act as hosts to the illegal criminals;

    Illegals are criminals. Criminals are to be dealt with under the law. A lawless society is a criminal society. Therefore Obama is the president of a criminal society, quite fitting for him, as he is a communist and subversive thug.

    Our local representatives in Washington, the Communists Wasserman Schultz and Bill Nelson must removed from office. These Marxist followers have penned their names in support of this facility, the largest prison of is kind to be built next to homes, schools, and parks in the Pembroke Pines/SW Ranches communities.If Washington did its job and these two elected representatives did theirs, their would be no need for a prison of this kind, because their would be no illegals in this country. The Democrats (Communists) have hijacked the Constitution and willingly refuse to enforce standing federal immigration law.Nelson and Wasserman Schultz do not care about the residents that are impacted by this prison as they are going to make millions in graft and payoffs for insuring this unneeded prison is built in our front yards.

    Next is the criminals in the SW Ranches city Government, who planned this under our noses. This was done secretly. as they too will make millions in paybacks and graft for facilitating the placement of this prison in our front yards. These demented city leaders must be recalled, tarred and feathered. I suspect they have violated state and federal law in their underhanded dealings with the prison owners. This suspicion demands a full criminal investigation be conducted by the Florida AG office. Every crook has his day. The SW Ranches Mayor and City Manager have betrayed the citizens of this rural community. They are now on notice.

  11. Nesta Doherty says:

    She just wants the power and does
    not care about her constituents.
    The Mayor and Senator are the same.
    Beware peoople This was a done deal.

  12. Nesta Doherty says:

    Recall the Mayor!!!

  13. Miguel Mujica says:

    I cant vote for Ms Schultz since i live in pembroke pines. Im democrat but on this issue i will vote for whoever opposes this bestiality in our backyard. So far Diaz-Balart has my vote and Mr Nelson just lost two votes.


  14. jill says:

    Who said it’s far from SWR. You haven’t a clue just drive down 196 La to the end. It’s a stones throw from the Homes on this street. The millions of dollars supposedly generated by this project are HORSE MANURE and they can keep it. It doesn’t belong here. Yes, Debbie is in trouble with me. She lost 2 votes in my household. I hope all the SWR Commissioners will be voted out of office with her.All of you that believe the JAIL is the greatest thing to the economy in SWR should all get a job in jail and see what it’s like to work in one. An addition to the diseases is HEP C and MRSA and drugs, which find their way into all jails. Enjoy your monster.