Forum: Detention center foes to fight on
June 4, 2012 9:40PM
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:37AM
The Concerned Citizens of Crete and Neighboring Communities is disappointed in the narrow defeat last week of Senate Bill 1064 in the Illinois House, which would have prevented a privately run immigrant detention center from being built in Crete.
The bill would have strengthened a statute of long standing in Illinois that recognizes the dangers inherent in privatizing for profit an essential component of the judicial system in America. We are disappointed that some legislators were swayed from this principle by an intense and well-financed corporate lobbying campaign from the for-profit prison industry.
We are heartened by the integrity and courage of state Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights), who represents Crete and recognized publicly during the floor debate that the citizens of Crete overwhelmingly oppose the building of a for-profit detention center in our community.
Crete residents have done their homework on the issue. We know that academic research documents many negative social and economic effects of prisons on small communities: lower property value, suppressed economic development, higher expenditures on public safety and infrastructure and devaluation of a community’s image.
In addition, the citizens of Crete have grave misgivings about partnering in profits from an industry that makes money off of confining human beings in a dysfunctional immigration system. The more we learn about Corrections Corporation of America and its record, the more we realize this is not a healthy project for ours or any community.
We will continue our canvassing, education and petition drive, which is converting signatures against the prison at a ratio of 11 to 1. And we will continue to dialog with our elected officials about the risks of the prison project and positive alternatives for economic development in Crete.
Concerned Citizens of Crete and Neighboring Communities
Where’s the patriotism?
Standing in front of my house on Memorial Day, I saw approximately 30 houses up and down the street. My neighbor and I are Vietnam veterans. We took a few minutes to put up our flag, but few of our neighbors bothered to do so.
I saw only two other flags displayed on our street. Really? Are you so busy, or is it that you just don’t care?
Tea Party misunderstood
A Speak Out commenter stated recently that the Tea Party was hypocritical in supporting limited government while using public schools and accepting Social Security payments. He also wondered why Tea Party supporters don’t support the Obama health care mandate.
It appears he does not understand the Tea Party. What is really at the heart of the question is freedom of choice — that no one, not even government, has the right to dictate to others and force them to do what their conscience and most importantly, the Constitution, doesn’t allow.