Kankakee Co. (ECWd) -
Last month while exposing the activities at the Kankakee Valley Airport that led to the resignations of both a board member and the board's attorney, we noticed an agenda item called ICE Project.
We had been preparing a story on this agenda item as who knew this Airport was a hub for what appears to be immigration deportations. I received a text today telling me to read the Chicago Tribune article that just hit the street.
We got punked....to a degree.
The Tribune story focused on a "lack of transparency in the sudden move of the Chicago area's processing point for those being forced from the country."
We think the bigger story may be the fact this move has been in play for months and our attendance at a recent meeting proved most valuable. Turns out the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics, KKVA, and our legislators are all working feverishly to capture federal funding to build up the airport runways to an MD-80 Standard. MD-80 is a model of aircraft that can hold as many as 172 passengers, or in this case deportees.
It would appear there are big plans for this airport as it relates to future ICE transports of those swept up in ICE operations. During the meeting, it was referenced that some of those folks are already being detained at the County Detention center which is conveniently right next to the Airport.
We knew the agenda item ICE Project was an important story, especially after listening to the discussion during the meeting with the State Representative Lindsey Parkhurst . We only wish we would have gotten to it before the Tribune but at least we got beat by Jodi Cohen, a great reporter that helped to expose the College of DuPage scandals that are still under state and federal criminal investigations.
The portion of the KKVA Aiport meeting on the ICE Project can be viewed below.