February 28, 2019
We, the Graduate Employees Organization at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign IFT/AFT Local 6300 AFL-CIO, strongly condemn the proposed construction of a private prison in Dwight, Illinois. The Dwight Planning Commission met on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 to discuss the annexing of private land for a privately run, federal immigration detention center. The detention center would serve to detain up to 1,200 undocumented immigrants. The Dwight Planning Commission voted in favor of annexing the private land for an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center. The Dwight village board will be meeting on Monday, March 11, 2019 to have a final vote on whether to approve the contract with the Immigration Centers of America. More than 100 protestors, including Dwight residents and activists from across the state of Illinois, attended the February 19 meeting to voice their opposition to the proposed plans.
The GEO is a sanctuary union that stands with all workers, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. We oppose ICE and their policies of deportation and family separation, which tear our families, communities, and workplaces apart. ICE detention centers are inhumane and cruel and they should be abolished. We call upon the Dwight Village Board to vote no on establishing this detention center, which will benefit no one but the corporate interests that profit off of the prison-industrial complex.
(Editors’ Note: the Village Board did approve the contract on the 11th of March.)
The Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT/IFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, represents approximately 2,700 Teaching and Graduate Assistants on the UIUC Campus. In November, 2009 and in February, 2018, over 1,000 GEO members and allies participated in strikes to secure a fair contract and more accessible UIUC campus. With an active presence in the community, the GEO continues to work for high-quality and accessible public education in Illinois.