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From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Gov. Whitmer Blocks Plan For Immigration Detention Center

Gretchen Whitmer
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) delivers State of the State address on February 12, 2019.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has blocked the sale of a former Michigan prison that was proposed as the site of a privately operated federal immigration detention center.

Immigration Centers of America was the sole bidder for the former Deerfield Correctional Facility in Ionia, which closed in 2009.

A spokeswoman for the Democratic governor says concerns included whether adults who had been separated from their children might be held there.

Plans for the facility had moved forward last year under then-Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican.

The $35 million facility was proposed to house adult immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement who hadn't been charged with or convicted of criminal offenses.

Immigration Centers of America had planned to house 500 to 600 detainees and employ more than 250 workers.

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