August 1, 2014
It's the suite life for our little friends from South of the Border
By Thomas Lifson
Come to America for the safety, but stay for the amenities. That’s the message being sent to the children of Central America by the new detention center resident center just unveiled in Karnes City, Texas by ICE, which seems to be bursting with pride over the amenities being offered our guests.
“I am pretty sure you will agree this is nothing like we have seen before,” said ICE field office director Enrique Lucero during Thursday’s media tour of the facility.
He’s not kidding. A 29 acre facility has been remodeled at a cost the government refuses to divulge, and every aspect of the esxperioence has been upgraded, shall we say. Flat screen TVs, soccer fields, ping pong, and oh yeah, free dental and medical care. KXAN TV in Austin provides these details:
Previously, the people being held at the facility were called detainees. Now they will be called residents. Guards are now called resident advisors. Even the facility itself will be referred to as a resident center rather than a detention center. (snip)
The amenities do not stop simply at safe. Families will be given a health examination upon arrival along with six sets of fresh clothing for each member. Doctor attention will be available at all times and residents will have access to a dentist.
A friend who is postponing urgent dental care because he can’t afford it sent me this article, and wishes that he had access to a dentist at no cost. I guess he made a mistake being born an American and paying taxes.
The facility is being made “family friendly”:
Even the walls of the center have been painted with many colorful characters and pictures as many children are expected to call it home.
“There will be cartoons playing for children and games of that nature,” said Lucero.
Other amenities include recreational fields, a library, internet access, and a cafeteria which will serve three all-you-can-eat meals a day. Certified teachers will also be on site to provide year-round education and small jobs will also be available paying $3 a day for four hours of work.
But with a straight face, officials claim that this is definitely not meant to be an attraction for more children to risk their lives coming to the paradise that has just been opened for them:
Still, during a press conference after Thursday’s tour, he [Lucero] warned the accommodations should not be motivation for anyone trying to illegally cross the border.
“Do not risk the lives of your children or risk your life. This is a dangerous journey coming to the U.S.,” Lucero said. “The U.S. border is not open to immigration and after your immediate detention and due process, there is every likelihood you will be returned to your home country.”
However, pro bono immigration attorney service will be available on-site according to Lucero and those seeking asylum will have an opportunity to see an immigration judge.
“We need to ensure there is a community of attorneys willing to help with the humanitarian crisis at the border,” said Boston Cote, an attorney offering her services pro bono. “We need a way to ensure the integrity of the system is preserved.”
Sounds like a mixed message to me. Which do you think will have more influence on people in El Salvador – pictures of the facilities or the warning about the dangerous journey?
KRGV TV in San Antonio adds some further details:
The feds said the rooms will be referred to as "suites." The suites are furnished with bunk beds, play tables for children, flat-screen television sets and landline telephones. (snip)
The center has a soccer field covered with artificial turf, basketball courts, ping pong tables and a weight room. Officials also have plans to install a playground.
A charter school from nearby San Antonio will provide schooling and access to a library for the immigrant children.
Wow, access to charter schools! Don’t American kids have to apply and hope they get in, trying to escape failing public schools?
And finally the question we all want answered:
The feds estimate it will cost approximately $74,000 a day to house 532 immigrants at the center. That's an average of $140 a day per person.
Bear in mind, this is an estimate. Remember when it was estimated by the feds that Obamacare would save us money? How many American families, when they take two kids on vacation can afford to spend $280 a day?