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A Wyoming county pursues a private immigration jail

Uinta County officials have endorsed a private company’s proposal to build a for-profit immigration jail near Evanston, Wyoming. Both Evanston’s city council and Uinta County’s commission unanimously passed resolutions in June to support the Management Training Corporation’s plan to build and manage an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center just outside Evanston city limits. The jail would have the capacity to hold 500 undocumented immigrants detained by ICE while they await court hearings in Salt Lake City.Uinta officials are uncertain whether they need Wyoming’s five statewide elected officials to approve the project. It is possible a jail holding immigration detainees does not require the same level of approval as other forms of private prisons regulated under Wyoming law, a county official said. Either way, MTC’s efforts to jail immigration detainees from throughout the northern rockies in Uinta County have thus far gone largely without notice in the state at large.The private jail would be similar to an MTC-operated ICE detention facility in Southern California, said Mike Murphy, MTC’s vice president of corrections marketing.

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High Country News