The Ogle County board voted Tuesday to kill a plan to build a 630-bed INS detention center on the south side of Oregon.
The final vote is read and applause erupts inside the Oregon Coliseum. Ogle County board members soundly supported a motion to defeat a plan to build an INS detention center in Oregon.
Huntley says: "I am so relieved. I think you could see that with the crowd here. Everyone was cheering and papers were flying. I think the county is immensely relieved,” says Lant Huntley, an Oregon citizen.
Opposition from the community was fierce. Many people said the county would fund a jail for the INS with no benefit to taxpayers, and the public was left out of the debate.
"We're appalled and I’m still appalled at how corrupt the county officials are. I hope this serves as a wake up call that we need a new government in here that won't try to sneak in an INS detention center,” Huntley says.
INS officials made a final push for the jail at this morning's meeting, but say the vote came as no surprise.
"There was a fierce and vocal opposition here. I think there was so much misinformation out there and we didn't move fast enough to replace the misinformation with accurate information,” adds Deborah Achim, of U.S. Immigration and Naturalization.
Ogle County Board Chairman Jerry Daws voted in support of the detention center. If he had to pitch the plan again, Daws says he'd involved the public earlier.
"We probably needed to do more public relations and get the information to the committee member who needed it,” comments Daws.
INS officials say they will still detain some prisoners here in Ogle County through an agreement that's already in place.