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Hernandez Cracks Down on For-Profit Detention Centers

03/26/2019

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, is sending a message that Illinois will not help advance Donald Trump’s bigoted immigration policies by introducing legislation that would ban taxpayer-funded deals for any for-profit companies that contract to detain migrant children. Hernandez is also supporting legislation that would ban units of government from operating for-profit detention centers.

“I can’t listen to the leaked audio of children desperately crying for their parents while being mocked by ICE agents or see the images of children locked in cages and allow our state to be a part of such cruelty,” Hernandez said. “What’s taking place in detention centers is a violation of basic human dignity, so we must act at the state-level to stop these injustices.”

Illinois’ pension systems invests billions of taxpayer dollars in publicly traded companies, but are currently prohibited from investing in a number of businesses, including those that profit from African apartheid, companies that participate in the boycott of Israel, and companies that do business in Iran and Sudan. Hernandez is seeking to add businesses that profit from Trump’s migrant detention policies to this prohibited list by introducing House Bill 3428. Hernandez’s bill would require the Illinois Investment Policy Board (IIPI) to stop any investment of taxpayer dollars in any for-profit companies that contract to shelter migrant children.

Hernandez is also supporting House Bill 2040, which would prohibit the state or any unit of local government from operating for-profit detention facilities, such as the one recently approved in Dwight, Illinois. The Hernandez-backed legislation would also prohibit any unit of government from providing financial incentives to develop, manage or operate any private detention facility.

“These initiatives will ensure tax dollars are not going toward helping Donald Trump tear more families apart,” Hernandez said. “Illinois is home to over two million immigrants, and as such we will not allow entities in our backyard that profit off of putting children in cages.”


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