Biden's ICE to shutter nation's largest migrant detention facility located in Texas

 June 26, 2024

President Joe Biden has unquestionably been lax in his enforcement of border security and immigration laws, despite absurd claims to the contrary, and the situation appears to be getting worse.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced earlier this month that it will soon shut down the nation's largest migrant detention facility that is located in South Texas, the New York Post reported.

ICE cited "fiscal responsibility" as the main reason for shuttering the privately-run facility and dubiously claimed that the loss of that detention center's 2,400 beds would somehow result in the addition of 1,600 beds in other facilities elsewhere.

ICE announces detention facility closure to save money

A June 10 news release from ICE announced its "ongoing work to optimize enforcement resources" and how it was focused on "utilizing border management resources to meet operational requirements."

What that apparently means in layman's terms is an alleged increase in repatriation flights, or returning illegal migrants to their nation of origin, and a shuffling of funding to allegedly increase migrant detention beds nationwide by way of closing down the country's largest detention facility, the South Texas Family Residential Center located in Dilley, Texas.

That facility was described by ICE as "the most expensive facility in the national detention network," and shuttering it will ostensibly "enable ICE to reallocate funding to increase the overall detention bed capacity across the system by an estimated 1,600 beds to better support operational needs."

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement remains focused on meeting the constantly changing operational needs of the immigration enforcement mission in a fiscally responsible manner," acting ICE Director Patrick Lechleitner said. "We continue to evaluate contracts to ensure we are financially responsible and can increase removal flights and detention bed space capacity to support the dynamic immigration landscape while operating within the budget provided by Congress."

"Today’s announcement will provide an overall increase in bedspace and operate at or above the FY24 appropriated 41,500 minimum bed requirement while maximizing removal flights," he added.

Reported 7.4 million non-detained migrants currently released inside the U.S.

The Post reported that former ICE field office director John Fabbricatore said the move to close down the large migrant detention facility in Texas displayed not just a "lapse in judgment, but a deliberate act of amnesty through inaction" by the Biden administration, and added that it was also part of the broader "political theatre" by President Biden that is "aimed at appeasing certain voter bases rather than addressing the real issues at hand."

The outlet noted that illegal migrants are often released into the nation's interior when there are insufficient beds to detain them, and Fox News just reported last week that ICE's non-detained docket has surged to more than 7.4 million released migrants and is on pace to surpass 8 million by the end of the fiscal year -- a number that doesn't include the estimated 2 million "gotaways" who evaded capture and processing after illegally crossing the border into the country.

For some perspective, the non-detained docket has essentially doubled from less than 3.7 million when Biden first took office, and ICE only has around 6,000 agents assigned to work that docket, meaning each agent faces the impossible task of tracking, detaining, and deporting more than 7,000 released illegal migrants.

Facility first opened under Obama to house families, now only houses single adults under Biden

Local CBS affiliate WKRG reported on the announced closure of the Dilley, Texas, migrant detention facility, which is privately run by a company called CoreCivic that reportedly generated more than $156.6 million in revenue in 2023, much of which comes from taxpayer funds.

While the Post observed that the facility has a maximum capacity of 2,400 beds, the local outlet noted that it averages around 1,784 detainees per day, out of the estimated 38,500 detained migrants nationwide as of mid-June.

The facility was first opened during the Obama administration and originally served as temporary housing for detained migrant families with children, per the Post, but was transitioned in 2021 under Biden to only temporarily house single adult migrants detained at the border.

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