SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — Illinois House Democrats are pushing a bill that would block a privately-run immigration detention center from opening in Dwight – or any other city in Illinois.
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) introduced House Bill 2040, which would ban the state or any local government from operating a private detention facility. It would also bar local municipalities or law enforcement from entering contracts, receiving payments, providing payments or giving any financial incentives to a detention facility operated by a private company.
HB2040 banning privately owned profit driven ICE detention centers advanced out of committee today. Pleased to have made this step. Even happier to have spent a few minutes playing dinosaurs with a little boy who was recently reunited with his mom after 8 mos apart. pic.twitter.com/GrLi8eGAsU
— Rep. Kelly Cassidy (@RepKellyCassidy) March 20, 2019
“Stopping these kinds of centers is about ensuring common dignity and humanity to people,” said state Rep. Elizabeth ‘Lisa’ Hernandez, (D-Cicero), in a press release posted to the CapitolFax website. “There is no evidence that these types of facilities save any money, and often provide no oversight or specialized care to those held there. This bill is a major step in the right direction when it comes to protecting immigrants and providing the proper care that every person deserves.”
Earlier this month, hundreds packed a meeting at Dwight Township High School as the village board voted 5-2 in favor of annexing land, approving development and changing zoning restrictions to allow for for the private Immigration Centers of America, Inc. to construct a $20 million immigration detention center on 88 acres of land near the intersection of Interstate 55 and Illinois Route 17.
As part of the agreement, ICA would provide a fee to the village per bed filled in the detention center to offset the costs of running infrastructure out to the land.
Groups from as far away as Peoria, Chicago and Bloomington came to protest the immigration facility’s construction.
The facility is still awaiting federal approval from the U.S. Department of Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) before it can move forward.