November 15, 2021
General News

Indiana county may cash in as Illinois bans detentions | Govt-and-politics

BRAZIL, Ind. — Clay County is a lot like the other counties around it: rural, overwhelmingly white, lower middle class, and very Republican. But one thing that sets the county apart is its local jail, which is the only jail in Indiana that holds immigrants and asylum-seekers in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

As officials in nearby Illinois prepare to shutter the state’s two remaining immigration detention centers, Clay County is moving forward on a proposal that could more than double the capacity of the jail — paid for in large part by taking in more ICE detainees, local elected officials said.

The county entered into an agreement last month with a local developer on a proposal that would add a new 45,000-square-foot housing pod with at least 265 beds to the Clay County Justice Center. The county commission has not yet fully signed off on the…

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