By Peter Galuszka

In a remarkable display of incompetence, the Trump Administration this summer transferred dozens of undocumented aliens being held in detention centers in Arizona and Florida to a private prison in Farmville just so special federal tactical officers could beef up crowd control in Washington, D.C.

Consequently, some 300 inmates at the Farmville Detention Center operated by the privately held Richmond-based Immigration Centers of America contracted the COVID 19 virus and one died.

The action, reported this morning by The Washington Post, prompted U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine to call for stricter oversight of the Farmville facility that operates under a contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to hold undocumented aliens while their cases are being reviewed or while they await deportation.

Jennifer Boysko, a Democratic state senator, called for changes in state law to allow greater regulation of private prisons.

According to the Post, the Trump Administration wanted more protection from generally peaceful protests that were being held near the White House that called attention to police slayings of African Americans while in custody. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser declined to call for federal help.

One evening last June, Trump used federal agents to forcibly clear peaceful protesters on Lafayette Square so he could use a nearby church as a photo opportunity.

Despite protests from ICE’s headquarters, Trump’s people ordered ICE special response teams trained for crowd control and prison riots to Washington. The problem was that they could only fly chartered airplanes if they were transferring prisoners.

So, Trump’s people withdrew alien detainees from facilities in Arizona and Florida and flew them and the ICE officers to the Farmville area which is the closest ICE  facility to Washington. They did so even though there was plenty of room at the other detainment centers.

Mixing outsiders with Farmville’s inmates prompted a wave of COVID infections that afflicted from 80% to 90% of the Farmville prison population. The issue was so concerning that the Farmville City Council held special meetings about it in August.

I have been writing about the issues behind the private prison for 11 years. Some years ago, privatizing prisons and other essential state services became the rage among some state Republicans, including former Gov. George Allen. It seemed a way to make profits,

As I wrote in 2009 in Style Weekly:

“We’ll get a rate of $1 to $2 per day per detainee,” Farmville Town Manager Gerald J. Spates says, beaming. “So, that’s from $750 to $1,500 a day.” At the moment, illegal immigrants, at times as many as 400, are detained at the Piedmont Regional Jail, also in Farmville, which generates no revenues for the town.

It also may be a good deal for the Richmond businessmen behind the project, which includes Ken Newsome, president of AMF Bakery Systems and a Republican campaign contributor who’s backed former Gov. Jim Gilmore. The two other investors are Warren Coleman and Russell Harper of Harper Associates, a prominent local commercial real estate developer. Newsome, Coleman and Harper didn’t return phone calls seeking comment by Style’s press time.”

When the Farmville facility was proposed, Virginia was going through a wave of xenophobia and racism. Former Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart made a career of raising a fuss about the many, mostly Hispanic newcomers in his county.

Some of the immigrants were recruited to help in the home building boom in Northern Virginia in the mid-2000s, but when the real estate crash happened in 2008 and 2009, a number of white residents no longer wanted them around. Some of undocumented since they had overstayed their visas and hauling them in became a new sport. Trump has made great use of the practice.

I wrote about the most recent issue in Bacon’s Rebellion about a month and a half ago.

In any event, this is a cautionary tale and shows just what ugly places Virginia and Trump’s America have become.

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29 responses to “Trump’s ICE Scandal in Farmville”

  1. Based on the Washington Post reporting (which I never assume tells the whole story, but for purposes of argument in this post, let’s say it does), it sounds like the Trumpsters screwed up big-time by sending infected prisoners to the Farmville facility.

    But please explain what Trump’s action has to do with the private ownership of the facility. Does the Post suggest that Ken Newsome and his partners had anything to do with the transfer of prisoners?

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      They at least knew about the transfer, bringing in more prisoners to an already crowded facility. Or they should have known.

      The private ownership status has a lot to do with it. Because it is privately owned and does not hold state or local offenders, it is exempt from public scrutiny or regulation.

  2. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Jim. They are profiting from it and later can hide behind ICE. That is wrong.

  3. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    Undocumented. That’s when you drive to the store and forget your wallet with your driver’s license.

    When you are in a country trying to stay permanently without permission, you are an illegal immigrant or an illegal alien. Why do so many people follow the rules when immigrating to the United States? They must be fools.

    And any recruiting of workers was done by law-breaking business owners, seeking to avoid minimum wage laws. Too bad Congresswoman Barbara Jordan isn’t here to set the issue straight.

    She wrote as follows:

    “We need to make immigration work for Americans. Allowing a mass influx of low-skilled foreign nationals to violate our laws is a bad proposition. Bad for American citizens, who see their wages driven downward and are vulnerable to a dangerous criminal element; bad for legal immigrants, who played by the rules and saw that effort mocked by others who essentially cheated and were rewarded; and bad for the new arrivals, many of whom are ill-equipped to assimilate into American life and face the prospect of grinding poverty and long-term government dependence. If unfettered illegal immigration benefits anyone, it may be opportunistic politicians who see a permanent underclass whose votes can be obtained with the promise of generous social service benefits.”

    Her last sentence describes the modern Democratic Party and its filthy enablers — the MSM.

    1. Eric the Half a Troll Avatar
      Eric the Half a Troll

      From now on all individual caught exceeding the speed limit will be known as illegal drivers.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        ditto for illegal scandals…

      2. TooManyTaxes Avatar

        I guess this means you cannot respond to the late Rep. Barbara Jordan. Larry, as well.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          did not see anything to respond to TMT. what was the point made?

          1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

            The point made is that one of the leading liberal Democrats of her day, very strong on social justices issues saw illegal immigration as a serious problem negatively affecting millions of Americans. Undocumented suggests someone simply doesn’t have their needed papers. It doesn’t cover those who are here illegally.

            Why won’t the left acknowledge there is illegal immigration and those who immigrate in violation of the law are “illegal immigrants”?

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            TMT – it was wrong to mischaracterize Ms. Jordans position on immigration or imply that it was similar to Trump or Conservatives views.

            That’s just plain misrepresenting the facts and it’s become fairly rampant these days and some folks don’t bother to check them before putting them forth as a valid argument.

            ” Trump’s Misuse of Barbara Jordan’s Legacy on Immigration”

            The White House intimated that Barbara Jordan would have supported the proposals to be championed by the President. The statement is a gross misstatement of Representative Jordan’s views. ”

            ” In her own words, “I believe the fact that America is a nation of immigrants should be a source of pride and not a reason to ignite virulent nationalism.” ”


            so why would someone want to claim that Jordan’s position on immigration was the same as Conservatives in the first place if it was not demonstrably true AND the rest of the documented record actually shows the opposite?

          3. TooManyTaxes Avatar

            Larry, you are making up stuff. Jordan stated “Unless there is a compelling national interest to do otherwise, immigrants should be chosen on the basis of the skills they contribute to the U.S. economy. The Commission believes that admission of nuclear family members and refugees provide such a compelling national interest, even if they are low-skilled. Reunification of adult children and siblings of adult citizens solely because of their family relationship is not as compelling.” – Barbara Jordan, June 28, 1995 Your source, Susan Martin, lies about family reunification because she does not distinguish chain immigration between children and parents and adults.

            Your source didn’t even mention this statement. Moreover, Jordan saw a difference between legal and illegal immigration. Few on the left are willing to be honest enough to recognize the distinction. Susan Martin further lies by describing illegal immigrants as people without status. She’s just more the Washington, D.C. sewer life. I’d love to be on a panel with her and see her lies and distortions pointed out.

        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          TMT – if you honestly look at EVERYTHING Jordan said and not just cherry-pick – then the truth will come out.

          She supported immigration. She supported making it easy for people to immigrate so that it would justify stopping the illegal.

          Even Jordan, though, could evolve in her position. It’s just dishonest to point to select statements in the past and to represent it as her actual position.

          Can you tell me Jordan’s position on chain immigration?

  4. As far as clearing Lafayette Square for the photo op, that was a very interesting clandestine operation for which I do not think we have a full understanding how it was accomplished. ICE could be part of the overall picture. Seem like DC cops may have been involved too although the mayor denied it.

  5. warrenhollowbooks Avatar

    “some 300 inmates at the Farmville Detention Center operated by the privately held Richmond-based Immigration Centers of America contracted the COVID 19 virus and ONE died”

    So, what your saying is that being in an ICE facility is far safer than being in a nursing home in Virginia . . . your right, that is worthy of an investigation . . . of the Governor

  6. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    “So, what your saying is that being in an ICE facility is far safer than being in a nursing home in Virginia . . . your right, that is worthy of an investigation . . . of the Governor.

    Exactly. This is a non story. A fake scandal.

    In fact the Federal governments action here very likely saved lives from Covid, and from a rash of criminal activity and abuse, if freed.

  7. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    False statements. False equivalency.

  8. LarrytheG Avatar

    Looks like another “Ken” from Virginia is up to his eyeballs in the DHS scrum.

  9. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    Progressives believe that convicted criminals and illegal immigrants are more important than ordinary Americans.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      ” Trump’s Misuse of Barbara Jordan’s Legacy on Immigration”

      ” The White House intimated that Barbara Jordan would have supported the proposals to be championed by the President. The statement is a gross misstatement of Representative Jordan’s views. The President’s position on immigration, and the language he has used, represent all that Jordan decried during her long career and, especially as Chair of the commission. The statement misconstrues the recommendations of the Jordan Commission as justification for deep cuts in immigration that would make it harder for family members, employees and refugees to enter the country. As the Executive Director of the commission, I can attest to the fundamental differences between the Trump policies and Jordan’s and the commission’s recommendations.

      In its first report to Congress, the commission did indeed state, as the White House reported, that it is “a right and responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest.” However, the commission also concluded that “legal immigration has strengthened and can continue to strengthen this country.” Further, the commission “decrie[d] hostility and discrimination against immigrants as antithetical to the traditions and interests of the country.” Its recommendations sought to improve the admission process by ensuring the timely entry of immediate family members of US citizens and legal permanent residents (LPRs) as well as workers and refugees.”

      bad enough folks knowing spread false narratives – even worse if they know they are – in the style of Hans Bader…… shame on you TMT!

  10. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Convicted criminals? Ever counted Trump associates?

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      yeah….that pretty funny! 🙂 TMT spends way too much at those kool aid sites!

  11. idiocracy Avatar

    The real scandal here is that the poverty rate in Farmville is 33%. This in a state that gets $10k per capita in Federal spending.

    “The reality is Virginia is a poor southern state whose economy is over dependant on Federal spending in Eastern and Northern Virginia. Richmond has squandered this gravy train producing nothing for years and now reductions in Federal spending are going to hurt.”

    This guy gets it:

  12. idiocracy Avatar

    Poorest town in Vuh-gin-yuh:

    That Vuh-gin-yuh way sure works well, doesn’t it?

    Well I guess it does when you’re connected with the Good Ole Boy network so you can line your pockets with tax dollars.

  13. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    This BristolBlog stuff is awful. Some posts are downright anti Semitic.please don’t share this crap. Thanks

    1. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
      Baconator with extra cheese

      Is that Jacob Blake Sr’s blog? I haven’t seen it but heard Kamala Harris is very proud.

    2. idiocracy Avatar

      It is awful. Someone should stage an intervention with the author and tell him that such negative views of Vuh-gin-yuh aren’t tolerated. After reading it, I came away with the impression that Bristol, Vuh-gin-yuh is about as close to hell on earth as you can get without going to Baltimore, and that Vuh-Gin-Yuh gives Illinois some serious competition in the most corrupt state contest.

    3. idiocracy Avatar

      Duly noted that you have no problem with all of the anti white-trash posts on there, but since that group stopped voting for Democrats in 2008, I imagine you have no use for them.

      1. Peter Galuszka Avatar
        Peter Galuszka

        Idiocracy. Sorry but I will not tolerate a bloggers comments about why “Jews”‘ have a disproportionate population in elite universities. That dates back 100 years and must not be tolerated.

  14. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Mr. Peter did you see this? Protestors came to sing Mark Herring to sleep Sunday and left a nice message on the sidewalk. I think the protestors want Herring and Northam to address the Farmville crisis. Could they actually do something? Do Herring and Northam have the political will to intervene?

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