NATO security concerns postpone meeting on Crete detention center
Sun-Times Media Wire May 21, 2012 10:47AM
Signs are posted at homes opposing the proposed detention center in Crete, Illinois, Wednesday, January, 18, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times
Updated: May 23, 2012 5:18AM
Security concerns over anti-NATO protesters have caused officials to postpone a town hall meeting for a controversial plan to bring an immigration detention center to Crete, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said Sunday.
Jackson agreed to postpone a Monday town hall meeting on the proposal after consulting with local and federal law enforcement officials, according to a statement from the congressman’s office.
The statement said the meeting was canceled due to “security concerns raised by NATO and outside protesters who are threatening to come to Crete.”
“The Congressman remains opposed to a detention center in Crete, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials remain committed to coming to Crete to listen to residents’ concerns about the proposed prison before a final decision on the project is made,” the statement said.
Messages left with a Jackson spokesman and Crete Mayor Michael Einhorn were not immediately returned.
Opponents to the proposed detention center called on Jackson to reschedule the meeting as soon as possible.
Officials with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights said in a statement that they were upset with Jackson’s decision.
“The residents of Crete have never had the opportunity to question ICE, Crete Mayor Einhorn or village trustees regarding the proposed detention center, and discussions of the center have lacked transparency and accountability,” the group’s statement said.