City of Littlefield possible location for immigration center

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Updated: 7/09/2014 9:14 pm
It's been vacant for years and soon could potentially house immigrant children from Mexico.

Littlefield City Manager Mike Arismendez wants to use the former Bill Clayton Detention Center permanently for detaining illegal immigrants. 

"I understand it's a very hot-button topic for citizens, but we see it as an economic impact for the city," said Arismendez.

The 95,000 square foot facility can shelter 382 people. It's been properly maintained since closing its doors, but is still draining 13% of the city's budget. Arismendez believes with the support from state officials, the facility could soon house some of these children.

"We feel like it's a great facility, it's been very well-maintained and we're ready for them to come in. We can probably get the facility up and running in 30 days," he said.

Arismendez  brought the property to the attention of the Immigration Customs and Enforcement Agency in Washington D.C. back in 2012. He said he's currently waiting on regulations and compliance codes from ICE in order to move forward.

"We continue to be in correspondence with them and continue to wait for additional information from them on what we need to do to bring the facility as a detention facility, a holding facility for ICE," he said.

Many of the residents we spoke said they welcome the children to stay in their town, because it would bring great financial relief.

"Anything that would bring jobs to any part of the state or the world would be beneficial and in that situation, I think it would be a very good deal," said Robert Keene.

"I think it would help the economy and bring jobs for people who don't have work and I think it would be helpful to the children and to the Littlefield area," said Rose Nunley.

The crisis along the border is not expected to end anytime soon. By the end of the year, 90,000 children are expected to cross into the U.S.

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Shark - 7/10/2014 12:07 PM
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I assume the illegals will be detained until they are sent back across the border, instead of being set loose onto the american population.
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