An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center has been proposed in Uinta County. Almost 500 miles away, a local activist group is working to oppose it.
Real Resistance Wyoming, a Sheridan based activist group, is holding informational meetings to engage its community to prevent a private company from building the immigration detention center.
Josh Hanson, a Real Resistance Wyoming member, said the private company building the facility, Management Training Corporation (MTC), has a long history of abandoning its facilities and creating false hopes of an economic boost.
“I think Wyoming should be asking the question: why does Utah not want this facility?” said Hanson. “Unfortunately, it looks like they're right that there are some communities in Wyoming that are desperate enough to go along with it.”
Supporters of the detention center believe it could bring jobs to the county. But Hanson said a detention center could have implications for the whole state. For example, it could increase the number of deported immigrant families in Wyoming.
“That's one of the challenges of trying to organize this in Sheridan,” explained Hanson. “It's not our backyard and trying to get people to recognize that this going to have to be a state-wide push, if we’re going to get anything done and this is our state and we should all care about this."
The Evanston City Council and the Uinta County Commission passed resolutions in support of building the facility last June. It would hold a maximum of 500 detained immigrants while they await court hearings in Salt Lake City.