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Bipartisan House vote to stop Dwight from building ICE prison

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019

* Illinois News Network

There’s already a ban on private criminal detention operations in Illinois, but a state representative wants to go a step further to prohibit private civil detention facilities as well.

The Dwight Village Board last month approved an agreement with a private provider for a 1,200-bed facility for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees.

* HB2040 synopsis

Provides that neither the State, nor any unit of local government, any county Sheriff, or any agency, officer, employee, or agent thereof, shall: (1) enter into an agreement of any kind for the detention of individuals in a detention facility owned, managed, or operated, in whole or in part, by a private entity; (2) pay, reimburse, subsidize, or defray in any way any costs related to the sale, purchase, construction, development, ownership, management, or operation of a detention facility that is or will be owned, managed, or operated, in whole or in part, by a private entity; (3) receive per diem, per detainee, or any other payment related to the detention of individuals in a detention facility owned, managed, or operated, in whole or in part, by a private entity; or (4) otherwise give any financial incentive or benefit to any private entity or person in connection with the sale, purchase, construction, development, ownership, management, or operation of a detention facility that is or will be owned, managed, or operated, in whole or in part, by a private entity.

The bill passed the House with 85 votes, including House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Other Republican “Yes” votes included: Brady, Bryant, Butler, Demmer, Hammond, Keicher, Marron, McAuliffe, McCombie, McDermed, Severin, Spain, Wehrli, Wheeler and Windhorst.

Lots of AFSCME members in some of those districts. The union hates privatized prisons (or privatized anything, for that matter).

I’m not sure this would’ve received all those HGOP votes under the previous administration.

…Adding… Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois…

The Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois applauds the overwhelming bipartisan majority of the Illinois House that approved the Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act (HB 2040).

HB 2040 upholds Illinois’ longstanding public policy opposing private prisons, extending it to civil detention functions like immigration detention. Private detention centers, such as the proposed immigration detention facility in Dwight, Illinois, profit from mass incarceration, primarily of immigrants and communities of color. Private prison operators maximize their income by keeping their facilities full while minimizing their expenses by cutting corners, even if that means putting lives at risk. They pursue their profit-maximizing goals without any public safety rationale even though better, more humane alternatives to detention are available.

We thank Rep. Kelly Cassidy for her strong and persistent leadership in moving this bill through, and we thank the hundreds of organizations and individuals, including our allies within the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois and the #NoICEDwight campaign, who called their legislators, filed witness slips, and otherwise showed their support for HB 2040 and their opposition to private detention centers.

No one should profit off human misery. We look forward to working with the State Senate and with Governor Pritzker to ensure that this bill will become law.

…Adding… Press release…

The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC) applauds the Illinois House of Representatives for passing HB2040, which garnered overwhelming bipartisan support and passed by 85 votes.

The bill will prohibit private civil detention facilities in Illinois, including the proposed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigrant detention facility in Dwight, Illinois. Immigrant detention centers do not keep our communities safe, and actually contribute to lower reporting rates of crime by immigrants due to the erosion of trust with law enforcement. Additionally, data demonstrates that the majority of immigrants detained or deported do not have criminal records, and in the past two years alone, Department of Homeland Security reported over 150% increase in the arrest and deportation of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record across the US.

International trade supports 1,711,100 Illinois jobs, or nearly 1 in 4 jobs. We rely on our global partnerships to grow our economy and workforce, and by passing HB2040, Illinois sends the message that we are a welcoming state and embrace the many contributions of our immigrant communities and will keep them safe.

IBIC thanks Chief Sponsor Kelly Cassidy and the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois for leading this critical legislation.

IBIC encourages Illinois Senators and Governor Pritzker to ensure that this proposal is enshrined in law and that we continue to build a more welcoming and prosperous Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments »
  1. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    “Civil detention” sounds like something out of a Charles Dickens novel.


  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    Lot of horror stories come out of those private detention facilities.

    I imagine some of those GOP “yes” voters had visions of Baby Cage Supporter direct mail pieces.


  3. - Nanker Phelge - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    What ever happened to job creation?

    A private company would not be trying to build an illegal immigrant detention center if the federal government didn’t need more beds. It is going to get built somewhere. Why not Illinois?


  4. - PJ - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    ==Why not Illinois?==

    Try reading up on the conditions of private prisons and detention centers in America. It’s odious. We’re one of the only countries in the first world that allows private contractors to profit from human detention, with all the incumbent incentives to cut every corner for the sake of a buck. It’s disgusting, and if Wisconsin wants it, go ahead.


  5. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    ==What ever happened to job creation?==

    Dwight is 37 minutes from Marseilles where the federal government has committed to spend 5 million for an automated record fire range for the Illinois Army National Guard. This project is in jeopardy because of the emergency border wall funding. Getting this project to be out of jeopardy should be priority for those who want job creation.

    https://www.duckworth.senate.gov/news/press-releases/duckworth-statement-on-trump-proposal-to-take-money-from-illinois-military-facilities-for-border-wall


  6. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    ===What ever happened to job creation?===

    1) See you in church.
    2) We don’t need those kinds of jobs.


  7. - lakeside - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    ==It is going to get built somewhere. Why not Illinois?==

    Gonna want to put on those helmets for this steep of a slippery slope. Wheeee.


  8. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    Comparison of facilities to detain people who are being evaluated for deportation to death camps is over the top.

    In a better world we would have judges and support staff to quickly sort through the detainees. Then there would be less need for detention facilities.


  9. - Anon - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 2:17 pm:

    DOC isn’t perfect and has a lot of room for improvement.

    DOC also isn’t profit driven.

    Profit driven prisons completely disincentivize providing the purpose of “corrections.”


  10. - Nick Name - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 2:22 pm:

    ===The union hates privatized prisons===

    Everyone should hate them. They’re an abomination. Kudos to the Illinois House for its bipartisan support for this bill. Let’s hope the Senate can do the same.


  11. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    22 people have died in ICE detention centers in the past 2 years (per NBC).

    Is that acceptable?


  12. - illini - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    Private Prisons, ICE Detention Centers - Not in my Illinois. And, if I had my way, not in America.


  13. - lakeside - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    ==In a better world we would have judges and support staff to quickly sort through the detainees.==

    Hmm, I wonder why the administration is pursuing more privately-run detention centers when the solution suggested by your comment - hiring more judges and staff - must be more cost-efficient and rapid (after all, it takes time to build a building)? It’s almost as though terrifying communities through rounding up and detaining is a feature, not a bug.


  14. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    Neither R nor D wants the illegal immigration stopped. Both want the issue to motivate their base.


  15. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 4:45 pm:

    ==Neither R nor D wants the illegal immigration stopped. Both want the issue to motivate their base.==

    I don’t know, but it IS odd how you hear about immigration raids but never about factory owners going to prison. Why is that?


  16. - Imagine - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 7:09 pm:

    “Private Prisons, ICE Detention Centers - Not in my Illinois. And, if I had my way, not in America.”

    Yes, but we do not live in a perfect world. Otherwise, there would be no prisons. In some cases, the people in prisons are not incarcerated due to some societal injustice, but because they committed crimes and actually need to be imprisoned.


  17. - ajjacksson - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 7:59 pm:

    “In some cases, the people in prisons….committed crimes….”

    Yes—and the current administration, in its zeal to stop “illegals,” is making it numerically difficult, if not impossible, to prosecute the real criminals.


  18. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Apr 11, 19 @ 8:11 pm:

    Why is the State sticking its nose in a local zoning issue?


  19. - theCardinal - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 5:36 am:

    Illini….Enforcement of the law sometimes requires detention centers. Illegal actions by citizens or non citizens sometimes require incarceration or deportation. Either public or private the Government is still the one doing the detaining or incarceration, who opperates the facility is less of a concern that how they do it.


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