Skip to comments.Littlefield residents debate housing illegal residents to local prison
Posted on 07/15/2014 9:45:38 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
LITTLEFIELD The American flag that once flew over the Bill Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield is no longer there.
Resident Gary Pringle took it down in protest of the towns consideration of detaining illegal immigrants in the West Texas prison.
There will never be an American flag flying over that facility while it houses illegal aliens, he said.
But Pringles was just one voice heard by the Littlefield City Council at a town hall meeting Tuesday night.
With a goal of alleviating concerns residents have expressed since the city went public with its negotiations with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department last week, city manager Mike Arismendez answered dozens of questions.
Will immigrant children be in my childs classroom, one resident asked on a sheet of paper provided at the beginning of the meeting.
No, Arismendez said. There are education requirements for illegal immigrants of school age, but they will be taught in the prison facility.
Immigrants will not set foot out of the compound unless their residency issues have been resolved, they are being deported or they have severe medical issues, he said.
Another resident asked about potential diseases.
Arismendez said the immigrants will be screened for health issues at the border and when they arrive at the facility. Barring major medical needs, the detainees will receive treatments in the prison and the bill will be sent to the federal government.
The 382-bed Bill Clayton Detention Center has been vacant since 2009 despite almost selling for close to $6 million in a 2011 auction.
Built through a city bond to serve as an economic development tool, maintaining the unoccupied 95,000-square-foot prison costs the city close to $1 million a year, Littlefield Mayor Danny Marquez said.
The $800,000 that leaves Littlefield for that prison every year, thats hard, he said.
If the city does secure a contract with ICE, the federal government would pay Littlefield an estimated $82 to $88 per diem, Arismendez said.
For Marine veteran Shea Colbert, thats enough.
Why are you going to leave a prison empty if you can make money off of it, he said, noting there are few American families who didnt immigrate to the country at some point.
Still, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, will not back the potential repurposing of the prison.
Congressman Neugebauer does not support housing illegal immigrants in Littlefield, Texas, or anywhere else in the United States, spokesman Adam Rice said in an email. He remains focused on securing the border. He is pleased the community of Littlefield will have an opportunity to discuss this important issue with their local elected leaders.
While the congressman was not in attendance on Tuesday, Arizmendez did say the citys federal representative issued a statement of support for the project last year.
All I can tell you is I have a letter from support from Randy Neugebauer that he wrote in May of 2013 to director John Morton at ICE saying that he supported bringing illegal immigrants to Littlefield, Arismendez said. If hes changed his mind, thats perfectly OK.
Neugebauers Democratic opponent in the upcoming November general election, Neal Marchbanks, was at the town hall meeting.
This is an opportunity. Somebody is going to pick up these dollars and I would think that Littlefield needs the dollars, he said. Theyre spending a lot of money. That is a beautiful facility, and it shouldnt be empty.
ICE handles illegal immigrant adults and family units, while Human and Health and Human handles unaccompanied minors. The city has not been in contact with HHS, Arismendez said, so the facility likely will not be used to house the growing number of children crossing the border alone.
And while there may be illegal immigrant children, it wont be 6-year-olds in prison cells.
The compound will be repurposed to better accommodate the possible 600-plus detainees, Arismendez said.
The home of Waylon Jennings. What a disgrace.
City Council bought and paid for.
“While the congressman was not in attendance on Tuesday, Arizmendez did say the citys federal representative issued a statement of support for the project last year. “
So they knew last year that the hordes of illegals were coming?
Now what we are seeing is this very same debate springing up in small towns across the country.
If this isnt a planned invasion on the tax payers dime I dont what is.
Infiltrate to the small towns under the banner of compassion and these hundreds into the thousands can then pour out into towns like a plague of locust. Target “purple” cities that need a little extra voting help to turn them blue and on the teat.
I changed my tagline over a year ago and it still rings true today but for another reason and because of another group. This nation hasn’t been this divided since the Civil War, great uniter my ass.....
Selling their souls to the devil. Waylon Jennings is spinning in his grave.
They don’t seem to have an “exit” strategy either. They’re going to be housed in a prison and not be allowed to leave. For how long?
No exit strategy...so true...Didn’t California just dump thousands of criminals on the streets because the prisons were full?