Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder confirmed Thursday that CoreCivic of Nashville, Tennessee has expressed interest in Elkhart County property to for a new Immigration and Customs Detention Center in Indiana. County Commissioners will have final approval over the facility if a final proposal is presented.
Richard Aguirre, Founder of Elkhart County HOPE, a nonprofit immigrant advocacy group, said community leaders found out about CoreCivics’ interest in property last Friday.
He said the effects of building a detention center so close to the Elkhart County jail would be felt all over the county. Aguirre said he’s concerned that the county would be perceived negatively.
Aguirre said one of his biggest concerns is the impact on the workforce. He says immigrants play a major role in the manufacturing industry.
“And I believe if there was a facility built in Elkhart County, there would be an exodus of people,” Aguirre said, “I think that would reduce our cultural diversity, and that would make Elkhart County a less diverse place and that would be something that would hurt us in terms of population growth.”
There will be a rally to protest the proposal tomorrow outside of the Elkhart County Courthouse.
Commissioner Yoder did not respond to requests for an interview.