June 22, 2018-Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is reportedly “sick to her stomach” over conditions involving immigrants at the Border. So sick that she had to leave her City, which has a multitude of problems from missing millions in public safety funds to people fleeing the crime and corruption at a record rate, in order to seek a photo op in front of a detention center. Gary residents, however, should not forget that if the Mayor had her way, she would not have to travel far in order to visit an immigration detention center. In 2015, the Mayor’s Director of Economic Development, Bo Kemp, entered into a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the GEO Group to bring an “ICE Processing Center” to the City of Gary. Residents and community activists didn’t learn of the plan until late in 2016 when the Gazette uncovered the secret MOU. Protesters packed City Hall meetings and the Mayor backed down from the plan. GEO moved on and is believed to be still looking for a site in Northwest Indiana.
In addition to the GEO MOU, the Gary Airport is being used as a transfer center for immigrants. Several times a week, visitors can see a plane touch down and armed guards escort prisoners to waiting vans. Those prisoners are then transported to county jails throughout the area where they are presumably detained pending hearings.
If the Mayor is truly “sick” over the immigration process, perhaps she should stop profiting from it.