New Immigrant Detention Center: Huge, Has TVs

Dilley, Texas, facility is largest such center for families in US
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2014 8:45 AM CST
New Immigrant Detention Center: Huge, Has TVs
A playground surrounded by cottages that will house immigrants at a new family immigration detention center in Dilley, Texas, on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014.   (AP Photo/Will Weissert)

A one-time camp for oilfield workers is now the largest facility in America designed to house those grabbed entering the country illegally. The family-focused South Texas Family Residential Center, unveiled yesterday in Dilley, is located 100 miles north of the Mexico border and about 70 miles southwest of San Antonio. It will eventually hold up to 2,400 people—mostly women and children—once construction is fully complete. The 50-acre campus currently features 80 two-bedroom, one-bath cottages that can hold as many as 480 people and come stocked with flat-screen TVs, bunk beds, and cribs; it also boasts medical care, playgrounds, school facilities, and round-the-clock snacks, reports the AP.

Women and children will remain there until they are deported, released on bond, or begin immigration court proceedings that could allow them to stay in the US. ICE says 70% of immigrant families released into the US never showed up for follow-up appointments—part of the reason for the expanded detention capacity. Reuters reports that it will cost $296 per person per day to operate the Dilley center, with the first residents arriving shortly from a temporary camp in Artesia, New Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson's take: The center sends a message. "It will now be more likely that you will be apprehended, it will now be more likely that you will be detained and sent back." (More illegal immigration stories.)

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