In a 5-2 vote, the Village of Dwight board members voted to move forward with bringing a potential immigration detention facility to Dwight, IL.
The board voted 5-2 on all three agenda items concerning the center.
The first, an annexation agreement between the Village of Dwight, Immigration Centers of America-Illinois, LLC and Butterfield Ridge No.2 for annexation of the parcel of 88.22 acres south of Rt. 17 and east of I-55.
The second, a petition for annexation by ICA-Illinois as the developer and Butterfield Ridge No.2 as the owner of the land and lastly an approval to establish the land as P-1 zoning district.
The timeline for the project is unclear, because the federal government still has to make the decision whether to build on the Dwight property.
Before the meeting, protesters looked to sway the board members to vote against the center by marching through Dwight.
“Just no to private prisons in our community we think that it’s morally wrong the research shows that it’s not economically viable for the village that is what the mayor is trying to push,” Illinois People’s Action Board Member Sonny Garcia said before the protest.
During public comment many Dwight residents questioned the motives of protesters who came from out of town. One man urged the village to not be scared “by these protesters who have no vested interest in Dwight.”
One resident told the board she approved of them voting yes because the centers are a better alternative to prison.
“We have elected all of you as Dwight citizens in good faith that you’ll do your due diligence, that you’ve researched this, that if it’s good for our community you will bring it to our community so we have faith in you,” Dwight resident Leslie Ginger said.
Though other residents, like Mary Flott, thanked them for coming all the way to Livingston County.
“I think they do have a vested interest in our country, in our state, in our town. I think they want us to be the best we can be and who we are. I feel like I have to do everything I can to make sure my conscious is clear when I go to bed because I think this would be a horrible thing for our town,” she said.