A company that ran the now-closed private prison in Appleton is reportedly lobbying public officials to turn it into an immigrant detention center, and Democratic state Representative Michael Howard says he’ll introduce legislation that would prohibit it:

“We just don’t think that for-profit companies should be reaping profits while putting people in cages.”

But Republican Representative Nick Zerwas from Elk River says the state should buy the Appleton prison to relieve overcrowding in Minnesota’s prisons and also “help our federal partners”:

“The facility itself is absolutely fine and top-notch to handle such a mission.”

Debate has been going on at the legislature for years over the state buying the former Prairie Correctional Facility.