New Richmond says application for ICE detention center has been withdrawn

New Richmond says application for ICE detention center has been withdrawn Photo: KSTP

April 18, 2019 05:51 PM

The City of New Richmond, Wisconsin says the company behind a proposal to build an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center there has decided to withdraw its rezoning application.

The decision comes after the city says it shared a draft copy of the staff report related to the project's application with Immigration Centers of America, a for-profit company based out of Virginia.


RELATED: New Richmond releases timeline in immigration detention center approval process

According to earlier releases from the city, the facility was planned to be built just west of St. Croix Correctional Center on the outskirts of town. That parcel of land is currently a cornfield owned by a New Richmond family.

However, before construction could begin, the city needed to approve.

RELATED: 500-bed immigration detention facility proposed for New Richmond, WI

A public forum was scheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 23 at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond. But the city said in light of ICA's decision to withdraw, that event has been canceled.

In a release of its own, ICA said it made the decision to withdraw after city staff recommended against authorizing the project, "stating it did not fit with the New Richmond 2040 Comprehensive Plan."

"We're disappointed the city has decided to reject our proposal," said Duane Ragsdale, the COO of Immigration Centers of America, in a statement contained in the release. "Due to this decision being made now, we will be unable to locate another site to comply with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency's RFP deadline in May.

"As a result, immigrants being detained in Wisconsin and Minnesota will be forced to remain incarcerated in local and county jails while awaiting their time in immigration court, rather than in a facility more suitable for those being held on civil charges." 

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