We are asking business and faith leaders across the state to JOIN US in saying no to the proposed Uinta County immigration prison. We have so many economic development opportunities in Uinta County and in Wyoming as a whole. An immigration prison isn’t one of them.

Email your signed letters to: contact@wyosayno.com

Faith Leader Sign-On

As Wyoming faith leaders, we are well aware of the stain left on our state by the World War II Japanese American interment at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center. We are also aware of the stain committed by private, for-profit prison corporations including those abuses charged against CoreCivic, the company solicited by the Uinta County Commissioners to build an immigrant prison in Wyoming.

Supporters argue CoreCivic will create “good jobs” in Uinta County. But, Violation tracker alleges the company has been penalized more than $12.3 million since 2000 for wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, labor relations offenses, and workplace safety and health and motor vehicle safety violations. The undersigned are versed in Scriptures telling of God’s love for the vulnerable, challenging us to think beyond nationality, ethnicity, and political talking points and to extend love even to foreigners. We invite you to do your own research. Don’t accept what we say or what the County Commissioners or CoreCivic and its supporters say. Simply Google CoreCivic. You will find documentation of the companies many abuses.

If this company or another builds an immigrant prison in Wyoming, the day will come when Wyoming people will lament the decision as they lament Heart Mountain. We call on all people of faith to prayerfully consider this proposal, to be led by scripture and your own hearts
and to think deeply about our values. As Wyoming faith leaders, our values are not for sale.

For these reasons, we stand united in saying no to the proposed immigration prison in Uinta County.

Business Leader Sign-On

As Wyoming business leaders, we stand in opposition to the proposed private immigration prison in Uinta County. Our reasons for opposing CoreCivic are numerous, the harmful environments private prisons have created to ensure their existence, the increase in risk to which CoreCivic will subject our small communities, and the deleterious impact an immigration prison will have on teachers, students and consumers in Uinta County, and southwest Wyoming.

CoreCivic’s poor reputation is widely known and has been covered repeatedly in national newspapers. CoreCivic is guilty of forced labor, neglect, lack of health care, and deaths of detainees-including children. As business owners, we understand behavior like this is evidence of toxic corporate culture, poor or inept management, and long-term practices that lead employees to believe that unethical behavior is acceptable to their employer. When we apply for the various permits and licenses required to operate our businesses in Wyoming, we agree that we are a community asset. CoreCivic will certainly not be a community asset.

As business owners, we also recognize that private prison companies like CoreCivic create an extremely harmful feedback loop by supporting legislation that promotes higher incarceration rates, and through contracts with local governments that require taxpayer dollars to cover any fees if minimum “lock-up quotas” are not met. This is also done through contracts that leave the taxpayer to foot the bill when minimum lock-up quotas are not met. They are not like other businesses in Wyoming such as bars, restaurants, retailers and even our heavy industry. Our businesses seek to encourage community pride, communication, participation, and opportunity, whereas CoreCivic seeks to divide and imprison members of our community and our workforce.

In addition to prisons lowering property values over time, companies like CoreCivic have decimated rural communities around the country first by siphoning workers away from businesses with deep community roots into menial jobs with high turnover rates. This  leads to things like closure of local businesses and drops in the tax base that our towns desperately need to survive. Private prison companies have abandoned rural communities entirely when changes in the White House have meant changes in immigration enforcement, their source of income adding to economic hardships and putting workers out of jobs. Bringing CoreCivic to Wyoming means that we will further pin the economic future of our small towns on the whims of the federal government. These are not Wyoming values.

Finally, we as business owners acknowledge the changing demographics of Wyoming and the need to welcome all into our community. Data from the Wyoming Department of Education provides a key example of this: in Uinta County there was a marked decrease of close to 20% in student population between 1998 and 2017. However, there was an increase of over 150% in the number of Latino students over the same time. Wyoming is changing, and alienating people who have come to Wyoming to work, raise their families and go to school would result in a steep loss of school funding for the area and could mean layoffs for over 100 teachers. An immigration prison in the area could destroy the trust of Wyoming’s newest residents. What would the loss of this consumer confidence do to Wyoming? What would the loss of over 100 stable, meaningful, good paying jobs do to Uinta County?

We as Wyoming business owners stand united in saying no to the private immigration prison, not only for ourselves but for those who worked hard and sacrificed to raise families and start businesses in Wyoming. The ones who cannot speak out due to fear, fear of losing everything. We in Wyoming don’t believe hard working families should have to go through that. We call on all of Wyoming to join us and say no to the Uinta County private immigration prison

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