June 25, 2024

Why the Biden administration intends to close the largest US ICE detention center

The largest detention center in the United States is being shut down by the administration of President Joe Biden, despite the fact that over 7.4 million migrants are still free in the United States while they await court hearings or deportation.

Two thousand four hundred migrants can be housed at the South Texas Family Residential Center, which is located in Dilley, Texas, approximately 75 miles southwest of San Antonio, according to The New York Post.

However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has said that it will replace the facility with 1,600 new beds located at other locations in the country.


The decision demonstrates not just " a lapse in judgment, but a deliberate act of amnesty through inaction," said John Fabbricatore, who had previously served as the head of the field office for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

According to him, the shutdown demonstrates that President Biden's executive order that prohibits the majority of migrants from claiming asylum is "nothing more than political theater."

He asserted that the president's move is intended to appease particular voting bases rather than addressing the actual challenges that are currently facing the country.

Detention Center Usage

Currently, ICE detention centers are used to hold migrants while officials conduct screenings on them and make decisions regarding whether or not to deport them or release them into the United States pending court hearings.

There is a lack of clarity regarding the number of migrants who are now present at the center, as well as the fate of these individuals once the facility is closed down later this summer.

The fact that it is "the most expensive facility in the national detention network" and is managed by a private prison contractor, the South Texas Family Residential Center, was cited as the reason the facility is being shut down, according to ICE.

The organization stated that it will be more cost-effective to add beds to other hospitals.

History of the Center

The facility, first opened during the Obama administration, was initially utilized for the purpose of hosting families; however, since 2021, it has only been housing adults.

Despite the fact that the Biden administration is still in need of additional bed capacity, it has decided to stop using many privately owned detention facilities.

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