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DWN applauds Crete, Illinois Vote to Reject New Detention Center

June 14, 2012

For Immediate Release

June 14, 2012

Contact: Emily Tucker, 917-991-9425, etucker@detentionwatchnetwork.org

Andrea Black, 520-240-3726, ablack@detentionwatchnetwork.org

DWN APPLAUDS CRETE, ILLINOIS, VOTE

TO REJECT NEW DETENTION CENTER

 Detention Watch Network applauds the village of Crete, Illinois, for its decision to reject Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) efforts to build a new private detention center in the community. This past Monday night, June 11, the Crete village board voted unanimously to end negotiations with ICE and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the private prison company that would have run the facility.

The vote comes after months of rallies, petitioning, and education and outreach by organized residents and a wide variety of groups — including faith, law enforcement, labor, immigrant rights, civil rights, and other leaders and the political leadership of the state. The Illinois General Assembly nearly passed legislation that would have prohibited the privatization of detention centers in the state, and therefore blocked the Crete facility.

“We are thrilled by the board’s decision, but we need to remain vigilant,” said Fred Tsao, Policy Director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), which spearheaded the opposition to the facility. “CCA is a powerful and arrogant corporation that has been very explicit that it views immigration detention as big business, and we fully expect them and other private prison operators to pursue a similar facility elsewhere in the Chicago region.”

The Crete facility was one of several new immigrant prisons that ICE is attempting to build around the country in the face of intense opposition from local communities and immigrant rights advocates. CCA is currently in negotiations to build what would be the largest detention center in the country in Southwest Ranches, Florida, a proposal which has inspired an energetic grassroots campaign against the prison, similar to the one in Crete.

“Incarcerating immigrants is unnecessary, wasteful, and wrong,” said Andrea Black, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network. “It is exciting to see people building power around that message and we need more communities to join the fight. We don’t want a new immigrant prison in Illinois, and we don’t want them anywhere else either.”

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The Detention Watch Network is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to educate the public and policy makers about the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for humane reform. For more information visit http://detentionwatchnetwork.org/ 

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