ICE quest for detention sites puts Elkhart County on tightrope

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(Associated Press) The Trump administration’s expansion of immigration detention has fueled debate in many communities, including places where the president enjoys wide support.

They are places like Elkhart County where a proposal by one of the nation’s largest private prison operators to build a 1,200-bed detention center put local decision-makers on a tightrope.

In Elkhart, where the economy is booming, nearly two-thirds of voters backed Trump for president. But the county seat and the largest local employers have made a place for thousands of immigrants, many in the country illegally.

The detention center proposal was “like a microcosm of all the different issues of immigration, right here in this county,” one local official said, a dynamic that fed tension and uncertainty.

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