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Feds Begin Planning Process For ICE Detention Center In Dwight, Illinois

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Department of Homeland Security is in the very early stages of plans to build an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Dwight, Illinois, about 80 miles southwest of Chicago.

According to a letter obtained by CBS 2, the Department of Homeland Security is preparing an environmental assessment for a proposed contract to build a privately owned and operated ICE detention facility in Livingston County, for detainees facing deportation proceedings.

Dwight Village Manager Jared Anderson confirmed the village has been seeking to be home to the facility, which would be built on a 40-acre farm field on the west side of town, just east of Interstate 55.

According to the Homeland Security letter obtained by CBS 2, the 127,000-square-foot detention facility would have room for up to 1,000 detainees, and employ at least 362 people.

The site also would have space for an outdoor recreation area, administrative offices, legal services, and other support spaces.

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Construction would take about 12 months, but the letter does not indicate when work would begin.

According to the letter, DHS is in need of a new detention facility within 180 miles of the ICE field office in downtown Chicago.

"This mission involves fulfilling orders for the securing and departure activities of detainees who are designated in removal proceedings, and for arranging the detention of detainees when such action becomes necessary and prescribed by law," the letter states.

Before construction begins, an environmental assessment of the proposed site will be required, including a period of public comment and review.


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