Appleton meeting targets detention center proposals

To the editor:

We are living in a time when we face many challenges and need to nurture understanding and compassion to transform hateful divisiveness that turns us against each other. CoreCivic, a private company, has submitted two proposals to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to re-open the Appleton Prison as an immigration detention center.

If you would like to learn what you can do to discourage CoreCivic from opening an ICE Detention Center in our region, you are invited to come to the meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday at Shooter’s bar in Appleton.

The forces of a system that wants us to ignore children being torn from parents and the actions of ICE are harming children, families and our communities.

Detention centers have been shown to be inhumane and often dangerous for detained immigrants, with documented occurrences of overcrowding, physical and sexual abuse, and illness and death. Furthermore, a detention center in rural Minnesota would further isolate detainees from their families, lawyers, and other services.

Department of Homeland Security reported as recently as 2017 that detention centers “undermine the protection of detainees’ rights, their humane treatment, and the provision of a safe and healthy environment.”

The estimated cost to re-open the prison is $200 million. This money could serve the West Central region in much better and long-reaching ways. These include investing in workforce development to expand opportunities for people seeking higher paying employment, investing in safe and affordable local housing, providing day care for working families, expanding health care services, or helping farmers experiencing financial crisis.

Immigrants are bringing vital resources to our rural towns. They are reversing population decline, helping to keep our schools from closing and helping us to keep health care services and facilities open and funded. They are opening small businesses, contributing to our tax base, and providing an essential work force needed for existing businesses. They bring vitality, diversity, and investment in our towns that would otherwise be drying up.

When we live with gratitude we want to protect and improve our surroundings to leave things better for our children and grandchildren. We cannot in good conscience exclude people of brown, black, red or yellow skin color from being part of a better world.

Darwin Dyce

Ghent

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