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Village Of Crete Calls Off Plans For Immigrant Detention Center

Some Crete residents balk at the idea of an immigrant detention center proposed for their village. (CBS)

Some Crete residents balk at the idea of an immigrant detention center proposed for their village. (CBS)

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CRETE, Ill. (CBS) — The possibility of a federal detention center being built in south suburban Crete is off the table.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday night that the six-member Crete village board of trustees voted unanimously to withdraw the plan for the privately-operated detention center.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

One trustee, Daniel Bachert, said the public support for the detention center simply was not there.

Village residents have been fighting the detention center ever since it became known last year hat Crete was under consideration for the facility.

The proposed 800-bed facility would have been built and run privately by a company called Corrections Corp. of America, or CCA – the nation’s largest operator of private prisons.

Village officials supported the center as a job creation project.

But opponents said they were worried that the center might depress property values and pose a possible security risk, while a petition against the center collected more than 1,500 signatures, the Tribune reported.

Earlier this year, Anthony Rayson of Monee said the detention center would destroy the fabric of a 180-year-old community.

“We’re not Menard. We’re not Pinckneyville. This is not Tamms. Crete is a legitimate farm community,” he said. “It’s one year older than Chicago. We’re not desperate. We’re not dying for money.”

Another Crete resident, Mark Rose, had a similar prophecy of doom last month.

“The village itself is going to, I believe, basically die. People will move out. You won’t be able to sell your property,” Rose said in March.

The detention center also met with opposition from immigration activists, who led a march against the proposed facility in April.

“No one should profit from human misery,” Sister JoAnn Persch said at the April 23 march.