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Feds Transfer Immigrants To New Detention Center In Bakersfield

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The Central Valley is now home to a new detention center for immigrants facing deportation. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.  

Federal officials have already moved around 60 people into the new center in Bakersfield since its doors opened two weeks ago.

Virginia Kice, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says the Mesa Verde Detention Facility will house up to 400 people.

"This facility will be able to accommodate individuals who were originally encountered in the San Joaquin Valley and potentially people who may have originally been encountered in other parts of California or even in other parts of the country," she says.

The agency says they needed a place in the Central Valley to house detainees since a previous detention center in Bakersfield closed nearly two years ago.

A private company, The GEO Group, will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the facility. In a news release, the company says it expects the center to generate roughly $17 million dollars in revenue each year. The facility use to house state inmates.

Diana Aguilera is a multimedia reporter native of Santiago, Chile. It was during her childhood in Santiago where her love for journalism sparked. Diana moved to Fresno while in her teens and is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno. While earning her degree in journalism and minor in Latin American studies, Diana worked for the Fresno Bee. Her work as a general assignment reporter continued after college and was recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2014, she joined Valley Public Radio. Her hobbies include yoga, traveling and reading.