Events have been heating up in Crete, Ill., a south suburb of Chicago, where local Crete officials, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and the private prison company Corrections Corporation of America, have been making plans to build a 750-bed immigrant detention center.
(Top photo: Attendees at the Crete Village Board meeting. Bottom photo: A protest sign appears at a site in Crete rumored to be the location of the proposed detention center.)
At an impassioned meeting held this past Monday night at the Crete Township hall, organized by concerned residents of Crete and the surrounding communities, and the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants, a coalition in which JCUA is an active member, nearly 160 local residents listened intently to comments about the impact this private prison would have on their town and on undocumented immigrants.
Main concerns were property values, economic failure and inhumane treatment of immigrants. Crete residents show no sign of backing down on this issue and are determined to get answers from their town officials on a decision that has broad impact on Crete, the state of Illinois, and the immigration conversation taking place across the nation.
This campaign opposing the construction of this site has warranted attention from former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and current U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who are currently facing off in the Democratic primary for congress in Illinois’ Second Congressional District, which includes Crete.
JCUA has been a strong and active supporter of these efforts.
Media coverage tells the story:
- Detention center talk angers Crete residents (Phil Kadner, Southtown Star)
- Planned immigrant detention center roils Crete (Chip Mitchell, Chicago Public Radio/WBEZ)
- Crete officials duck detention center foes (Thomas Finn, Southtown Star)
- Crete residents rally against proposed detention center (NWI Times)
- Halvorson says Jackson not doing enough to oppose immigration detention facility in Crete