Officials in Littlefield confirmed that there were negotiations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to use the Bill Clayton Detention Center. The city-owned prison has been closed since 2009.
“As recently as a week or week-and-a-half ago ICE reached out to us and we started talking again,” said City Manager Mike Arismendez. But the congressman would prefer those talks to come to nothing.
“It is not now and has never been my goal to house illegal immigrants in Littlefield,” Neugebauer said in a written statement. “My goal has always been and will continue to be securing the border.”
In recent weeks, the influx of unaccompanied children across the U.S. border has been described many times as a humanitarian crisis. Facilities run by the Border Patrol have been overcrowded. In some cases children have somehow made it all the way from Central America.
“Those that have made the journey and illegally entered the United States should be sent home immediately. President Obama’s attention and our resources should be focused on securing the border, enforcing the law, and quickly putting an end to this crisis.”
Some have blamed Obama for bypassing Congress with his immigration policies. Meanwhile, the United Nations this week called for recent immigrants to be granted refugee status even if their entry into the United States was illegal. The U.N. claimed that the children are subject to persecution if they return home.