By Howard Packowitz and A.J. Harris
The mayor of Dwight says he’s disgusted with “false or negative” narratives created by opponents of a proposed 45-million dollar immigrant detention center in the Livingston County community.
Mayor Jared Anderson is responding to the criticism in a lengthy Facebook posting. He said the non-criminal detainees housed at Dwight would be treated with more compassion because they would no longer be held in small jail cells.
Anderson said there would be 64 people staying in a dorm-like setting with television in a common area.
He said there will be an indoor recreation center, and outdoor athletic facilities, free use of musical instruments in a chapel, and they would have access to iPads and immigration law books.
The mayor said the facility would provide 360 jobs when fully staffed, with detention officers and registered nurses making up to $81,000. Shipping clerks would make almost $52,000 a year.
Anderson said there would also be as many as 400 construction jobs for the year or longer that the center is being built, and those workers would be spending money during that time at area gas stations and restaurants.
The Dwight Village Board is expected to vote Monday on annexing the property near Interstate 55 and Illinois Route 17. The group No ICE Dwight is calling on detention center opponents to attend that meeting.