By R. Mitchell –
ANSON, Texas — The field office director (FOD) for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) for Dallas, Texas, is announcing a new ICE detention facility that’s officially opening during the week of Dec. 9.
FOD Marc J. Moore explained that the new ICE facility was actually built in 2010 by the state of Texas to house inmates for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. However, the facility has never been used.
“This Bluebonnet Detention Center acts as a win-win for the state and federal governments” said Moore. ICE needed additional high-quality bed space to accommodate the huge influx of Central Americans who arrived at the U.S. Southern border this year. And Jones County, Texas, now has its nine-year building investment finally put to good use.” Moore oversees ERO operations in 128 counties in North Texas and the state of Oklahoma.
BBDC operates from an intergovernmental service agreement (IGSA) between ICE and Jones County, Texas. The facility is managed by Management and Training Corporation (MTC), which will be overseen by ICE officers. The new facility will house about 1,000 ICE detainees as they await the outcomes of their immigration proceedings or their removal to their countries of origin. IGSAs are contractual agreements made between government agencies.
BBDC is a state-of-the-art detention facility with seven video-teleconferencing (VTC) immigration courtrooms, seven private booths for asylum interviews, tablet technology for detainees, and multiple indoor and outdoor recreation spaces. There are 35 medical personnel on staff to tend to the population’s health concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
BBDC is located in Anson, Texas, about 30 miles north of Abilene, Texas, and about 3 ½ hours west of Dallas.
Most of the facility will house men; however, one separate section has been designated to house up to 72 women.
BBDC has 25 housing units within about 100,000 square feet. The 42-acre plot is big enough to easily accommodate expansion, if needed in the future.
To accommodate the strict standards required in all facilities that house ICE detainees, BBDC required some modifications to bring the facility up to ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards.
“I’m thrilled with my staff for professionally tackling all the operational and red-tape hurdles to get BBDC fully ready for move in in such a short amount of time,” said Moore.
Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) identifies, arrests and remove aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts. ERO upholds America’s immigration laws at, within and beyond our borders through efficient enforcement and removal operations.
Nationwide, ICE currently houses more than 52,000 aliens in detention facilities located across the United States.
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