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Weslaco Official Vow to Try Again and Seek Federal Funds for Detention Center

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Posted: Jun 22, 2014 7:24 PM

Updated: Jun 30, 2014 3:10 PM

WESLACO - Officials say they tried warning the federal government about the illegal immigrant surge.

They asked for money to build a holding center, years ago.

They hope this time the government will listen.

David Suarez was elected Weslaco mayor in November 2013. He knew undocumented families crossed illegally on a daily basis.

He says it was a problem highlighted years ago.

"We don't get the attention or the help that's need down here," said Suarez.

He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS, in 2009 the city wanted a family detention center. Weslaco asked the federal government for money. Weslaco officials wanted a place to hold hundreds of people.

"Because of funding, the federal government put a stop to it," said Suarez.

The number of families and undocumented children continued to climb.

"Hindsight is 20/20, but yes if it was built in 2009 and if it was a 300 or 500 unit facility. You could detain 300 to 500 children. It would alleviate some of the over crowding from the influx that the Border Patrol is facing right now," said Suarez.

He says another facility would help keep the undocumented people from falling through the cracks.

"Maybe this is start. Maybe we will get some funding to alleviate the problem," said Suarez.

The city met with consultants. They want to pitch their plan again. Their hope is to make the federal government finally fix the problem.

Topics: immigration, weslaco, detention, center

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