This week the private prison company CoreCivic, in the face of a groundswell of public opposition, withdrew plans to build a private immigrant detention facility center in Elkhart County.
It was a victory for the people of Elkhart County and a testament to the power of grassroots activism.
Contract facilities—such as CoreCivic—operate outside of public oversight and accountability. With no one to hold them accountable, private immigration detention centers have maintained a particularly grisly track record of detainee abuse and neglect across the nation.
These facilities explicitly violate the rights of detainees and add fuel to Trump’s mass deportation machine.
That’s why when CoreCivic proposed locating a 1,200-bed detention center about 10 miles east of South Bend, the members of that community fought back and won – forming a grassroots coalition that helped stop this sinister plan in its tracks.
This is people power in action.
While the company didn’t confirm the reasons for its withdrawal, Commissioner Frank Lucchese said: “I think CoreCivic read the writing on the wall and saw it wasn’t going to be a good fit for Elkhart County.”
We agree – and we would add that this detention facility doesn’t belong anywhere in Indiana.
Trump’s deportation machine has terrorized immigrant communities and torn families apart. Now more than ever, we must fight back against these nativist policies and the corporations profit from them.
The ACLU of Indiana stands with the members of the Coalition Against the Elkhart Immigration Detention Center and will continue to oppose plans by companies like CoreCivic to put profits ahead of people.