Rally held in Goshen to protest potential ICE facility

GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) - Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is considering an Elkhart County site to build a detention center to hold people who are about to be deported.

It would be built along C.R. 7, across from the Elkhart County Landfill. Current plans call for the facility to have 800 to 1,200 beds.

On Saturday afternoon, a group of people protested outside the Elkhart County Courthouse saying they do not want to see that happen. Immigration lawyers and other advocates said many people will not feel safe with a detention facility nearby.

The rally also included talks of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Trump administration announced it would end the program back in September.

"The Trump administration isn’t done yet," says Richard Aguirre, founder of Elkhart County HOPE. "They have acted to discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program. As a result, 800,000 young immigrants, including 10,000 in Indiana and 1,200 in Elkhart and Goshen may lose their legal status and be subject to deportation."

"As the non-profit legal service entity that serves immigrant detainees in the Midwest, we say in the strongest possible terms, that an ICE prison in Elkhart County would yield no benefit for immigrants and no benefit for our communities," says Lisa Koop, associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center. "We must resist this."

According to our reporting partners at the Goshen News, builders would break ground next spring if the detention facility is approved. The facility would take about two years to build.