Voice of the People: Say no to ICE prison

July 15, 2018

I do not like to write letters, but I wrote this one because I need to speak up on behalf of those in this county who do not want to profit from the detainment of immigrants. It has been recently reported the sheriff department is pushing to expand a contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to increase capacity from 200 to 500 beds at Jerome Combs.

I know I am not alone in my opposition. I have spent the last year with a group called Connect Kankakee, learning about the role of the United States in the creation of mass migration alongside a broken immigration process. So many families are being separated every day when ICE detains people whose only “crime” is being trapped in an impossible system. Yes, they broke the rules, but the rules are very, very broken.

Kankakee’s immigrant population has contributed to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods, businesses, farms, churches and schools. It is an insult to these contributions if we choose to use our prisons as immigrant prisons and choose to work alongside ICE.

Let’s all raise our voices against this push to create the largest immigrant prison in our state. See you at the next county board meeting?

Julia McDonald


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