Chicago, Democratic state activists and legislators claimed laws against the governor of Illinois on Wednesday banning the construction of private centers in the state to detain undocumented immigrants and the collaboration of local police with Immigration.
“We want legislative measures to block the federal deportation machine,” Artemio Arreola, of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, told Efe during the protest in Chicago.
Some 100 people demonstrated against plans to build a detention center in Dwight Village to house undocumented immigrants with deportation orders.
The state House of Representatives approved on April 10, by 85 votes in favor and 26 against, the bill HB 2040, which now faces the consideration of the Senate.
That bill expands to detention centers run by civilians – who are hired by Immigration throughout the country – a current moratorium in Illinois against private prisons.
“We have battled throughout the state on this issue, and with this law could be buried forever the ravages of private prisons,” said Arreola.
“Immigrants are not criminals and we demand that our rights not be violated,” said Luis Antonio López, another participant in the protest, who was detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the county jail. from Kankakee, Illinois.
Activists are also concerned that County Sheriff McHenry has applied to participate in the controversial 287 (g) program, which trains and authorizes local police to act as Immigration agents.
To avoid this, the State Legislature is required to approve the Law to Maintain Family Boards in Illinois (HB 1637), presented by Democratic representatives.
The City Council of Dwight Village approved the annexation of 88 acres of land and authorization for the Immigration Centers of America (ICA) to move forward with plans to build a detention center for 1,200 people.
The next step is for the company to get a contract with ICE before September 20, 2020.
Opposition from activists and the community stopped further proposals in 2012 to build detention centers in the Chicago area, where the federal government already houses undocumented immigrants in facilities located in Kankakee and McHenry counties in Illinois, and in the Detention Center of Kenosha County, Wisconsin.
Dwight is located near Interstate 55 and Route 17, which would facilitate travel to and from cities such as Milwaukee and Indianapolis, where other centers used by ICE are located.
Prior to Dwight, other companies that operate private prisons tried to establish themselves unsuccessfully in Crete and Hopkins Park (Illinois), and Hobart, Elkhart, Gary and Newton (Indiana).
As reported by local media, in its attempt to expand into the Midwest region, ICA tried to previously buy a former state prison in Ionia, Michigan, east of the city of Grand Rapids.
Likewise, the municipal authorities of New Richmond, Wisconsin, recently rejected an ICA request to build a center in that city. (EFEUSA)