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Group plans 80-mile walk to protest proposed immigration detention center

Activist Jose Landaverde announces a protest walk to the site of a proposed immigration detention center in Dwight, Il. | Mitch Dudek for the Sun-Times

A group of activists announced Wednesday they plan to walk 80 miles from Chicago to Dwight, Ill., to protest a proposed immigration detention center that might be built there.

The group of about 20 activists plans to leave on April 6 from the Little Village neighborhood and start walking southwest until reaching the town of about 5,000 people, said Jose Landaverde, who’s organizing the effort.

“We need to stop the trend of incarcerating our young people and working families in the state of Illinois,” said Landaverde, who was born in El Salvador but has lived in Chicago for 30 years.

Earlier this month, Dwight’s board of trustees voted to annex and rezone 88 acres of land that would house a detention center to be built by Immigration Centers of America, a Virgina-based company.

The company has yet to secure a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A representative of the company reached Wednesday referred questions to ICE. ICE spokeswoman Nicole Alberico said the government agency will be accepting proposals from companies seeking to build a new Illinois detention center through May 24.

Landaverde also said that after completing the walk, his group plans to stage a hunger strike.

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