Suburb Turns Down Immigrant Detention Center

Center was to hold more than 700 immigrants awaiting deportation

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012  |  Updated 4:09 PM CDT
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The village of Crete, Illinois will not be the home of a detention center for illegal immigrants.

"There hasn't been community support for a while," village trustee Daniel Bachert said.

Government support also did not adequately exist. Crete village trustees voted unanimously against the facility, said Crete President Michael Einhorn. Einhorn had hoped the center would bring the community of 8,000 hundreds of jobs.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement chose Crete as a possible location for the facility. It was to be a medium-security facility operated by Corrections Corporation of America, a private company.

"Up to the very end, I think everybody including myself was on the fence about this one," Einhorn said.

The American Civil Liberties Union objected to the facility on the grounds that because it was a private company, it incentivized maintaining high levels of incarceration.

The Moratorium on Deportations Campaign organized a march from Chicago to Crete to protest the proposed facility.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which organized other protests against the proposed detention center, also praised the town's rejection of the facility.

"These voices have spoken loudly and clearly that we do not want a new immigration detention center in Crete, that breaking up immigrant families is wrong, and that companies like CCA that profit from detaining people are not welcome in our communities," the group said.

Residents also worried such a facility would pose a security risk and depress property values.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly identified the group that organized the march from Chicago to Crete.

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