I remember as a child seeing the sign “Big Wonderful Wyoming” as we neared Evanston, our new home. While driving down beautiful, tree lined Harrison Drive, I thought, “What a wonderful adventure this is going to be.” And what an adventure it has been.
There have been many changes in the 50-plus years since that day. The revitalization and beautification of the downtown area, Depot Square, the Beeman-Cashin Building, the Joss House, the Gazebos, the Roundhouse, the Machine Shop, the Bear River Greenway, the ponds and Bear Park Pavilion. I’m sure I’m forgetting some. Then there is my very favorite place of all — the Bear River State Park. So many beautiful and historical places in our little town. So much hard work that went into making this a place to be proud of. So, I’m wondering why on earth would we want to diminish all this by allowing an Ice Detention Facility to be built here?
Building this giant facility right next to a place that has become a sanctuary to me and many others would be a tragedy, and I believe a big mistake. The ugliness of an industrial building with razor wire surrounding it will be an eyesore, but the true ugliness will be what’s going on inside. No matter how you feel about immigration, these massive detention facilities are not the answer. They are terrible places where the safety and well-being of detainees is not a priority. The human suffering will be immense. These are human beings, our friends and neighbors.
I hope people will take the time to research CoreCivic and its track record. Most of what I have found is not good. Some is horrific. Do we want people to know us as the town that has that horrible prison or that beautiful, friendly little piece of heaven at the entrance to Big Wonderful Wyoming?