The private company Management Training Corporation is planning to build a detention center for Customs and Immigration Enforcement, or ICE, in Uinta County. Evanston’s city council and the County’s commission unanimously passed resolutions in support of the effort last June.
But the proposed facility is facing opposition from private citizens and some organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming and the Immigration Alliance of Casper.
The coalition WyoSayNo formed in an attempt to prevent Management Training Corporation from breaking ground in Uinta County. MTC would also manage the facility for ICE, which would have the capacity to hold 500 detained immigrants while they await court hearings over an hour away in Salt Lake City.
Proponents of the prison believe the facility could provide much-needed jobs to the area, but WyoSayNo organizer Antonio Serrano said MTC’s previous human rights violations in other states concern him, including unconstitutional strip searches, rotten food and moldy bathrooms, and long delays for medical care in New Mexico. He also said he’s worried the prison will increase the number of immigrant families in Wyoming impacted by deportations.
“I’m scared and I’m worried that when, or if, this gets built, things will escalate in Wyoming and we will see more people torn apart and then it will turn Wyoming into a place of fear for immigrants,” said Serrano. “I don’t want my state to be known like that.”
Serrano says the coalition’s campaign against the prison will officially launch with an event on January 13.