On Tuesday the Dwight Planning comission had their meeting to decide whether to recommend the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, facility for approval or not recomment the item.
After a three hour meeting, which included testimony of residents from all over Illinois, the commission decided to reccommend the facility be approved by the board on February 25th.
Over 25 people spoke out at the meeting stating the facility is wrong both ethically and morally. But, afterward the lawyer representing Immigration Centers of America spoke on the issue.
He said 10 years ago, Congress tried to find a better way to house immigrants trying to find a better life, adding they should not have to live in jail like a criminal. He went on to say, because of this the detention facility was born as an upgrade from a county jail.
“In essence somebody whose only fault is coming to this country has to sit in jail before the civil issue on whether they can stay here or not is heard,” said Attorney Frank Cortina. “So Congress acted, Congress said no, we have to have better standards, we have to create detention facilities so that these people do not have to be held in jail.”
In a deal between Immigration Centers of America and Dwight, the village would get a dollar per day per detainee. That money, Dwight Village President Jared Anderson says, will be used to upgrade the village’s sewage system.
“There’s literally immigrant children dying in their custody,” said Sonny Garcia, Bloomington resident with Illinois People’s Action. “There’s literally thousands of kids that have disappeared from their view and we think we can do better in the state of Illinois in Dwight and in this nation.”
The Dwight Village Board will meet on Monday, February 25th to fine tune the details of the agreement and hear more testimony from residents who are oppossed to the facility.