Fighting the Corporate Prison Industry: Citizens of One Illinois Town Fight CCA Immigration Detention Facility
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"Generally, we obviously oppose any sort of legislation that either prohibits or undermines our ability to conduct business and meet our government partners' need," Owen says.
Amid all this, Illinois Congressmen Jesse Jackson, Jr., and Luis Gutierrez, both Democrats, are teaming up to kill the Crete project. In February, Jackson requested that ICE officials come to Crete to hold a town meeting to hear concerns over the project; that meeting is set for May 21.
In an e-mail to The American Independent, ICE says that it is "committed to building and maintaining constructive relationships with community stakeholders in an effort to foster public awareness." Through the meeting, ICE hopes to "enhance [its] understanding of community concerns related to the proposed detention facility."
"I don't want the south suburbs to become famous for building prisons and breaking up families," Jackson said back in February. "Regardless of your feelings about immigrants, Crete is a vibrant and charming small town. That image would change drastically with a prison."
Siddhartha Mahanta is a reporter at American Independent News Network.