March 4, 2021

Statement on joining the Coalition to Cancel the ICE Contract in McHenry County

Activate:Chi is proud to announce we’ve joined a coalition of organizations seeking to cancel the McHenry County Jail’s contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Coalition to Cancel the ICE Contract in McHenry County has been working towards this goal for months, and we’re excited to support their effort however and wherever we can.

Here's how you can help:

  1. Sign the "Cancel the ICE Contract in McHenry County" petition here:
  2. Pre-Order a "Cancel the ICE Contract" yard sign today:
  3. Join the coalition and stay updated by following this Facebook group:

Currently, McHenry County is paid $95 a day for each immigrant detainee housed in the jail and has received $6.8 million a year in revenue over the past three years [1]. There is no justification whatsoever for any government or organization to profit over the imprisonment of another life. Prisons, as they exist, should be a center for rehabilitation, not profit. They should provide opportunities both structured and open for an individual to learn, and create an environment which incentives an individual to positively grow. The goal of a prison should be to create less prisoners, however the current prison-industrial complex has created a system which incentives creating more prisoners and imprisoning them for longer. This profit incentive is the reason why McHenry Country currently has the contract with ICE to serve as an immigrant detention facility. Alongside that, at Activate:Chi we believe ICE is an immoral, despotic, unjust, and punitive organization which should be abolished, as we’ve stated before [2].

This is just one example of the sprawling and abhorrent immigration detention system in the United States, which is the largest in the world. As of 2019 there were 510,854 immigrant detainees in the US, an order of magnitude larger than most other countries [3]. This is not because we attract the most detainees, but because we have a system which creates a profit-incentive to imprison individuals, and immigrants can be a vulnerable population to prey on. This is evident by the fact that 70 percent of these detainees are held in privately-run immigrant prisons run by for-profit groups like GEO Group and CoreCivic [4]. We all must do what we can to respect the dignity and humanity of immigrants as well as completely reform the idea of punishment and prisons in the United States. Activate:Chi believes in the Coalition to Cancel the ICE Contract in McHenry Country and will strive to support them to our fullest.

To keep up to date on Activate:Chi and join our rapid response team text ACTIVATE to 60611.