Protesters gather in opposition of proposed ICE detention center


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of people gathered in downtown Grand Rapids Saturday afternoon to protest a proposed ICE detention center in Ionia. 

The protest was led by the local chapter of Movimiento Cosecha, which has hosted several events in Grand Rapids to advocate for undocumented immigrants. 

The group demonstrated in front of attorney Dennis Muchmore’s law office. Muchmore represents Immigration Centers of America, which wants to build a detention center in Ionia at the site of a former state prison.

In an interview with 24 Hour News 8 earlier in the month, Muchmore said a new facility would mean hundreds of jobs for the area.

Demonstrators said there are better options than jail for immigrants facing minor infractions and some are concerned about poor treatment in detention centers.

“They see them as lesser than we are. Just because they’re under-documented. When you combine that with a holding facility and the demand that this detention center is gonna create – it’s a recipe for disaster,” said Sergio Cira-Reyes, a member of Movimiento Cosecha. 

Protesters said they plan on taking their efforts to Ionia as well.

Should all go as planned for supporters of the Ionia detention center it could be fully operational by spring 2020.

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