ICE Looking to Create Tent Facility in Valley
WESLACO – More tents for housing immigrants are slotted to make their way to the Rio Grande Valley.
This time, they're serving a different purpose.
The details are described in a contract posted this week on a federal bidding site.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement cites the "crisis on the U.S. Southwestern border" as reason for looking for six new facilities to house a total of 7,500 people.
ICE takes custody of families and adults after they're processed by Border Patrol.
Border Patrol currently has soft-sided facilities in Donna and other stations where they process immigrants upon arriving.
The new facilities would fall under ICE.
The agency decides who is placed in long-term detention facilities. The agency is seeking to create six new facilities in Arizona and Texas:
• 2,500 bed soft-sided facility in Tornillo, Texas
• 2,000 bed soft-sided facility in Donna, Texas
• 1,000 bed soft-sided facility in Tucson, Arizona
• 1,000 bed soft-sided facility in Laredo, Texas
• 500 bed soft-sided facility in Del Rio, Texas
• 500 bed soft-sided facility in Yuma, Arizona
The facilities will be designed to temporarily shelter adult women and men.
It's a short-term detention area for "low level security risk" people.
The agency's goal is to keep them for a period of about 10 days.
The contractor will have to operate facilities and allow certain services to be offered to those detained.
As in long-term detention centers, short-term facilities will have to offer those detained services including access to personal hygiene items, mail, outdoor recreation, access to legal counsel, telephones, interpreters, barbering services and religious practices.
Health care services will also be provided, but the facilities themselves will have to be positioned close to a hospital that's up to 30 minutes away.
ICE provided a short statement, "ensuring there are sufficient beds available to meet the current demand for detention space is crucial to the success of ICE's overall mission."
The facility will have a contract that can last up to two years.