WBEZ | Edward Acevedo http://www.wbez.org/tags/edward-acevedo Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Proposal to ban private detention centers stumbles http://www.wbez.org/news/proposal-ban-private-detention-centers-stumbles-99719 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Dennis_RebolettiCROPPEDSCALED.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; width: 211px; height: 323px;" title="Illinois Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R- Elmhurst, argues against the bill on the House floor Thursday. (AP/Seth Perlman)" /></div><p><em>Updated Friday, June 1, at 12:30 a.m.</em></p><p>A bill that would have blocked an immigrant detention center near Chicago failed Thursday in a series of close Illinois House floor votes as lawmakers raced to adjourn for the summer.</p><p>Parliamentary moves by the bill&rsquo;s chief sponsor, Rep. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago), kept the bill alive late into the evening. In one roll call, the measure came within one vote of the 60 needed for passage. A 57-58 roll call, with two members voting present, defeated the bill.</p><p>The legislation would have banned government agencies at the local and state levels from contracting with private firms to build or run civil detention centers. It would have thwarted a proposal for Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America to construct and operate a 788-bed facility in the village of Crete, a suburb 30 miles south of Chicago. The facility would hold detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.</p><p>Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago) pushed the bill, <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1064&amp;GAID=11&amp;DocTypeID=SB&amp;SessionID=84&amp;GA=97">SB1064</a>, through the Senate in March. Gov. Pat Quinn&rsquo;s office said he would sign the measure if it reached his desk.&nbsp;</p><p>As the House took it up, however, Springfield-based Dorgan-McPike &amp; Associates lobbied hard for CCA. Other opposition to the measure came from immigration enforcement proponents and building-trades unions eager for the Crete project&rsquo;s construction jobs.</p><p>The bill&rsquo;s supporters countered with an amendment aimed at winning votes from downstate representatives. The amendment would have allowed Tri-County Justice and Detention Center to keep its private operator, Paladin Eastside Psychological Services. That facility, located in Ullin, holds ICE detainees.</p><p>During a 25-minute House floor debate on the bill Thursday afternoon, Acevedo pointed out that the Crete construction jobs would be temporary and that the project&rsquo;s permanent jobs could come at the expense of facilities that hold ICE detainees in other parts of Illinois.</p><p>&ldquo;The people of Crete, who you would think would be the most eager for these jobs, overwhelmingly do not want this facility,&rdquo; Acevedo said. &ldquo;They see the facility will place huge burdens on the community &mdash; traffic, police and other costs &mdash; as well as abuse that a private prison company could bring.&rdquo;</p><p>Acevedo pointed to a deadly riot this month at CCA-operated Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, Mississippi.</p><p>But Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) brought up Indiana, an Illinois neighbor that allows CCA to operate a county jail in Indianapolis. &ldquo;Isn&rsquo;t it possible that if we do pass this law that this company could simply go into Indiana &mdash; locate the same facility and house the same detainees we would in Crete &mdash; just across the border?&rdquo;</p><p>A written statement from CCA spokesman Mike Machak called the bill&rsquo;s failure &ldquo;an important step in realizing the Obama administration&rsquo;s vision for detention, which provides detainees awaiting civil proceedings with a humane and appropriate environment.&rdquo;</p><p>The bill&rsquo;s supporters offered a different interpretation. &ldquo;This was a David and Goliath fight,&rdquo; Lawrence Benito, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said in a statement. &ldquo;Though we were able to add new Republican votes, many Democrats showed deep disrespect for the immigrant families in their own districts.&rdquo;</p><p>Crete officials have yet to approve the detention center but have touted the jobs potential. They have also talked up expected taxes and per-detainee payments for the village.</p></p> Thu, 31 May 2012 17:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/proposal-ban-private-detention-centers-stumbles-99719 Crete leader slams Chicago immigrant activists http://www.wbez.org/eight-forty-eight/2012-04-12/crete-leader-slams-chicago-immigrant-activists-97809 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.wbez.org/" alt="" /><p><div class="image-insert-image "><img class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/march_1.jpg" style="margin: 6px 0px 0px 1px; float: left; width: 228px; height: 343px;" title="Marchers arrive Sunday afternoon in Crete after a three-day trek from Chicago. (WBEZ/Charlie Billups)"></div><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><em>Listen to Chip Mitchell discuss this story on </em>Eight Forty-Eight</span></p><div class="mediaelement-audio"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1333389318-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/120402%20a%20-%20chip.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The leader of a Chicago suburb where a private company wants to build an immigrant detention center says he and other town officials are having a hard time gauging public support for the plan because Chicago-based protesters have come in and whipped people “into a frenzy.”</p><p>“I’m not responsible to the people of Little Village,” said Crete President Michael Einhorn, referring to a heavily immigrant Chicago neighborhood where a three-day march against the proposal began Friday. “I’m not responsible for anybody else except the people who live inside the boundaries of this town.</p><p>“But the outside interference and the outside noise has made it extremely difficult for any municipal official to develop a clear and concise feeling for how the people we are responsible for are feeling because the people who are in favor of it are not beating my door down and putting signs in their yard,” Einhorn said.</p><p>The proposal is for Crete, a village 30 miles from downtown Chicago, to contract with Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America to build and run the detention center. The 788-bed facility would hold U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees awaiting deportation.</p><p>Einhorn and other village officials have talked up the project’s expected jobs and tax benefits as well as an opportunity for Crete to receive per-detainee payments. But the village has yet to negotiate a contract with the company or approve the facility.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/march_2_0.jpg" style="margin: 9px 0px 6px 1px; float: left; width: 228px; height: 293px;" title="Crete President Michael Einhorn talks up the proposal’s expected jobs and the payments the village would receive for each detainee. (WBEZ/Charlie Billups)"></div><p>The 40 marchers increased their numbers over the three days. By Sunday afternoon, when they reached a rural Crete parcel proposed for the project, their ranks had swelled to about 250. They ranged from seasoned immigrant advocates to youths donning handkerchief masks, self-described anarchists, Mexican-born mothers pushing strollers and longtime Crete residents fretting about their property values and whether the village would share liability for the facility’s operations.</p><p>Some Crete residents voiced concerns beyond their own interests. Warehouse company owner Thomas Tynan, 63, said the detention center proposal should call attention to a federal policy of deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants a year. “There needs to be a way that people who come to this country and want to work and want to become citizens can do that,” he said.</p><p>Tynan even likened immigrant detention centers to concentration camps during World War II. “If I was living then, what would I do?” he asked. “This is an opportunity for people to show what they would do.”</p><p>The Crete proposal is part of an ICE push to improve conditions in immigrant detention centers. That push follows a series of alleged human rights abuses in ICE facilities, including some run by CCA, the Nashville company.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/march_3.jpg" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 1px; float: left; width: 341px; height: 310px;" title="On the site of the proposed detention center, Crete resident Dan Taylor says the facility would hurt the village’s finances. (WBEZ/Charlie Billups)"></div><p>Illinois state senators last Wednesday approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Antonio Muñoz (D-Chicago) that aims to block the Crete plan. The measure, <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1064&amp;GAID=11&amp;DocTypeID=SB&amp;SessionID=84&amp;GA=97">Senate Bill 1064</a>, would make Illinois one of the nation’s first states to ban local governments and state agencies from contracting with private companies to build or run civil detention centers. The bill would broaden an Illinois statute banning privately built or operated state prisons and county jails.</p><p>The bill’s supporters acknowledge that Illinois cannot stop the federal government from contracting directly with private entities to build or run a detention center in the state.</p><p>After the measure’s Senate approval, Reps. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago) and Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero) introduced the House version. Its supporters say they will push for quick passage when the legislature returns from a recess April 17.</p><p>Some House Republicans are vowing to oppose the measure. Neither House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) nor Gov. Pat Quinn has taken a stand on it.</p><p><em><strong>See many more images of the march to Crete and village President Michael Einhorn at photographer <a href="http://charliebillups.photoshelter.com/gallery/Crete-Illinois-detention-center-opposition-march/G0000t9QgeeLrqGA">Charlie Billups</a>’ site.</strong></em></p></p> Mon, 02 Apr 2012 07:57:55 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/eight-forty-eight/2012-04-12/crete-leader-slams-chicago-immigrant-activists-97809