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Request for ICE detention facility in Elkhart County withdrawn

Request for ICE detention facility in Elkhart County withdrawn // WSBT 22

A controversial proposal to build an Immigration Detention Center in Elkhart County has been withdrawn.

The private prison firm has withdrawn its request for rezoning.

Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder posted this on his Facebook page :

Tennessee-based CoreCivic wanted to build a $100 million detention center that could hold more than 1,200.

The proposal did not sit well with everyone. Monday morning, plans for the center changed.

The original plan called for the ICE Immigration Detention Facility to go up on land just south of Elkhart, near the Elkhart County landfill.

CoreCivic was in the process of applying for a zoning variance to build it.

County commissioners received word Monday morning that those plans changed.

“Somewhere around 10 o'clock, the commissioners were notified by CoreCivic that they planned to withdraw their application for a zone variance, I believe,” said Elkhart County Commissioner Suzanne Weirick.

That variance would be needed to build the detention center at the site.

County commissioners have heard different opinions why the center should or should not be built.

“In the beginning, it was very, very clear that there were more opponents than there were supporters and I still feel like that was the consensus. The general consensus was that the community did not think that this was a vibrant community act,” said Weirick.

Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman recently voiced his opposition to the proposed facility. He recently put out a two-paged, single spaced letter that outlined the reasons why that facility would not be a good fit for the county or this area. It was signed by 30 business leaders and community leaders from around the area.

“The letter that I wrote was really just about looking at our community and our county, and all those things that we have been trying to do here together, as far as building quality of life. And I don't see how another detention, jail or prison facility fits into that mix at all,” said Stutsman.

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