Ban on private immigration detention facilities heads to Pritzker’s desk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — A bill which would effectively ban privately-run immigration detention centers in Illinois passed the Senate on Thursday.

The bill passed the House on a bipartisan basis, but the vote count was split along party lines in the Senate, with Democrats voting in favor.

House Bill 2040 was drafted directly in response to the Village of Dwight’s vote in March, which laid the groundwork for the private Immigration Centers of America to open a civil detention facility to hold detainees of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The bill would prevent local governments or law enforcement from receiving payments or working with private companies for private detention centers.

“It is completely immoral to profit off of detaining people,” said state Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), the bill’s sponsor in the Senate. “That should not be a money-making scheme for the private sector. Instead, the State of Illinois should be rehabilitating people and preparing them to re-enter society as functioning, productive citizens.”

The 1,200-bed facility is expected to create more than 200 jobs for the northern Livingston County village, which suffered an economic blow when it lost a state-run correctional facility in 2013. ICE is seeking to build a detention facility within 80 miles of its Chicago field office. 

The bill now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker. A spokeswoman for the Democrat previously said the governor believes Illinois should be “a welcoming state for all immigrants,” and he looks forward to reviewing the bill.

Tim Shelley

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager
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