Illegal immigrants whine about time in well-equipped centers

Dilley-Housing-ViewThe South Texas Family Residential Center — a detention center for illegal immigrants — has a basketball gym, a school for the children, a state-of-the-art medical clinic, restaurants and a beauty salon.

When migrants arrive, they go to storerooms stacked with new clothing and sneakers to select outfits to keep. Mothers are given everything they need including diapers, bottles and strollers. The children receive bi-lingual classes and are taught to speak and read English. Babies and children are vaccinated, and most people are given an X-ray to check for tuberculosis. According to the Dallas Morning News  a staff pediatrician performs weekly wellness checks.

And yet the people who arrive here – many claiming asylum on the grounds of being gang targets or victims of domestic abuse at home – are complaining. One woman has been at the camp since February with her two children. She fled Honduras after drug traffickers murdered five of her relatives and told her she was next. The United States took her in. But now she is complaining that she “can’t sleep because I have such a headache from thinking about being trapped in here.” Trapped!

Thanks to the message from the Obama administration that mothers and children would be allowed to stay here, the number of illegal immigrants heading to the US escalated dramatically last year. In desperation, the Administration started to detain these illegals for long periods of time, but the federal courts stopped them from using detainment as as deterrent to others planning to enter the country illegally. The message got out.

Now we taxpayers are paying to create rows of barracks in a 50-acre camp, the largest immigration detention center in the country. The South Texas Family Residential Center houses thousands of women and their children who were caught crossing the border illegally. This and other centers were designed to hold women while they fight their cases in the immigration courts, part of the administration’s expansion of family detention to more than 3,000 beds nationwide, from only 95 a year ago.

It is in these clean, safe, well-equipped centers they must wait until their case is heard. And here they are complaining that it all takes too long.