Vigil set for detention center

Published 7:30 am Friday, July 12, 2019

UPDATE: The time and location for the vigil has changed. It will be Friday, 7 p.m. at Wilck’s Lake Park.

A vigil to recognize those in immigration detention centers is set for Friday near the Farmville Detention Center.

Event organizer Doris Gelbman, of Charlottesville, said on Wednesday the vigil, called “Lights for Liberty,” is one in a series of vigils taking place across the country to protest the practice of immigration centers and poor conditions of facilities reported by national sources.

“This has nothing to do with a political party or political stance that we’re for or against,” Gelbman said. “This has something to do with the human condition.”

She said the vigil will include a candle lighting. The event, which is on Facebook, has 78 individuals marked as going and 231 marked as interested.

“There is a broad spectrum of people who feel that the treatment of immigrants by (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) ICE, by the U.S. government, by these corporations is inhumane and morally wrong, and that we object to it,” Gelbman said.

The vigil is scheduled to take place Friday, 7 p.m. at Wilck’s Lake Park on West Third Street.

The Farmville Detention Center has been a previous subject of debate. A demonstration was held last summer in the Town of Farmville.

The center was built in 2010 and had a cost of $21 million. The registered agent of Immigration Centers of America-Farmville LLC is Russell Harper, managing member of Harper Associates, LLC based in Richmond.

The facility has the capacity for 650 people, but the exact amount of people in the facility fluctuates from day to day. The town confirmed in a past report that only men are at the facility.

A notice from the Farmville Detention Center website cites that visitation is closed until further notice. A mumps outbreak was reported in June.