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Indiana residents oppose planned immigrant detention center

December 15, 2017

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered at a public meeting in opposition to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility proposed in northern Indiana.

More than 300 people attended the meeting Thursday in Elkhart to voice their concerns of the potential 1,240-bed facility. The meeting follows a November protest in Goshen.

Residents said the ICE detainee center will drive away a large portion of the population. They also said it could increase county’s workforce shortage.

“I know I’ve talked to family in Mexico and they come here with a visa and they are like, wow, you are going to have immigration there when we told them. They are scared of it too,” said Rafael Correa, who attended the meeting.

The facility would be located about 10 miles (16.1 kilometers) east of South Bend in Elkhart County. County commissioners say the facility would be managed by CoreCivic, a private prison company previously known as Corrections Corporation of America.

“There is growing awareness in the community that this proposal exists. There is growing awareness of what it will do, but more importantly there is a growing awareness of why this will be a very negative thing to come to Elkhart County,” said Richard Aguirre, coalition co-coordinator.

CoreCivic has requested a month-long delay for when county zoning officials first consider the $100 million project.

If approved, construction for the facility could begin in the spring.

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