Activists organize in Michigan against new immigrant prison

Interlochen Public Radio | Taylor Wizner

A small group of people from all over the region met in Traverse City to protest the immigrant prison opening in Baldwin in the fall.CREDIT TAYLOR WIZNER

More than a dozen people gathered in Traverse City on Saturday to organize against an immigration prison opening in northern Michigan.

Non-U.S. citizens convicted of illegally crossing the border and petty drug offenses will be held at the facility in Baldwin starting in the fall.

Cam Brown, an organizer with No Detention Centers in Michigan, says it’s wrong that immigrants should be imprisoned for the crime of crossing the border twice.

“I think we should be welcoming them instead of putting them in prison,” Brown says. “A lot of these people also are already members of communities. [They] are being ripped from their communities.”

No Detention Centers in Michigan plans to spread flyers with information about the prison during the Traverse City Film Festival. They are also asking Michigan Universities to divest from GEO Group, the private prison company behind the facility.

GEO Group has not responded to requests for comment.

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