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Statement of Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, National Immigrant Justice Center

Elkhart County Board Commissioner Michael Yoder announced this week that the private, for-profit prison company CoreCivic (formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA) had formally withdrawn its request to build an immigration detention center in Elkhart County, Indiana. Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) applauds the region’s residents and community groups who came together as the Coalition Against the Elkhart County Immigration Detention Center and vehemently and publicly opposed the proposed construction of this jail. Their courage to speak out against this $2 billion corporation is the latest example of how people of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds can work together to ensure that communities remain welcoming to all people, regardless of their immigration status.

As we applaud the success of Elkhart County residents, we are acutely aware that private prison companies like CoreCivic will continue disingenuously promoting prisons as economic boons to our communities. The people of Elkhart County and the greater Michiana region have made it clear that individuals working together can defend human dignity and stand up to inhumane policies that destroy immigrant families for profit.

NIJC’s Goshen, Indiana, office provides legal services to hundreds of immigrants and was a proud member of the coalition opposing the prison. With additional offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C., NIJC will continue to stand with communities opposing the expansion of the abusive immigration detention system.