ELKHART, Ind. — A private prison management company on Monday scrapped plans to build a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention
Nashville, Tennessee-based CoreCivic had proposed locating a $100 million, 1,200-bed
Commissioner Frank Lucchese confirmed the decision by the company previously known as Corrections Corp. of America.
"I think CoreCivic read the writing on the wall and saw it wasn't going to be a good fit for Elkhart County," Lucchese said.
CoreCivic had said its proposal was in response to an ICE request for information on possible facilities within 100 miles of Chicago.
The Elkhart County Plan Commission had scheduled a Feb. 8 vote on the company's rezoning request.
Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman, wrote a letter opposing the construction of the detention
"(I'm) obviously pretty happy they decided to move on and very grateful for the amount of community members, businesses leaders and elected officials for their work to benefit our county," Stutsman said.
Goshen City Council at-large member Julia King, who spoke out against the facility last week, said she felt celebratory immediately after learning the news.
"It just feels like such a positive statement about who Goshen and Elkhart County (are)," King said. "It demonstrates the power of grassroots organization in a big way . and to the power that ordinary people can have to shape their communities."
Another opponent, the Coalition Against the Elkhart County Immigration Detention Center held a news conference last week to denounce the proposal. The group claims about 35,000 members in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.
Richard Aguirre, a coalition co-
Many at the news conference pointed to Elkhart County's large Latino population.
"Of course we help contribute greatly to our communities economies into the community's livelihood. But above all else, we deserve to not live in fear because we are human beings," said Marbella Chavez, another co-
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana also opposed the detention
Ashley Toruno, a community engagement associate with the ACLU, said that it was concerned with private companies like CoreCivic operating outside of the public oversight and accountability.
A call to an ICE spokeswoman for comment Monday reached a recording saying the agency's public affairs representatives were unavailable because of the federal government shutdown.