One cannot help but be impressed by the detention facility at Karnes City, Texas. The story presently being spun in the press is that this is a converted prison. As usual the national media has it wrong. It was not suddenly remodeled and spruced up. It is a brand new building; built and owned by GEO Group at a cost of $32 million. The facility opened in 2012. Before you call you congressman to raise hell about about this ostentatious display of first world opulence to be lavished on a third world clientele consider the possibility that he, through no fault of his own, was not aware of this extravagance. Writing in the LA Times Brian Bennett in his objectively worded A kinder, gentler immigrant detention center reveals Congress was kept in the dark.
Behind tall walls, the grassy compound offers inmates a salad bar, a library with Internet access, cable TV, an indoor gym with basketball courts, and soccer fields. Instead of guards, unarmed "resident advisors" patrol the grounds in polo shirts and khakis.How did they get away with this? ICE contracted with GEO Group to build the Karnes City Hilton to its specifications.
The $32-million Karnes City complex was built and will be managed by GEO Group Inc. a publicly traded company. It was built directly for Karnes County, but to specifications set by ICE, which limited public scrutiny and congressional oversight.Just the sort of thing we have come to expect from the most transparent administration ever.
GEO Group is rather proud of its duplicity in the matter. It's all on their web site. Somehow the municipality of Karnes City is woven into this web of public deceit.
The Center’s property spans nearly 29 acres of land. TheNaturally such a facility deserved a truly grand opening with everyone who was anybody in attendance including of course the Islamic Society of
construction cost for the Center was $32 million which was
financed by GEO. Karnes County contracts with GEO for
the Center’s day-to-day operation and the detainee population is
housed at the Center under an Intergovernmental Service
Agreement between Karnes County, Texas and ICE. The
Center’s highlights and services include:
• Contact visitation for residents 7 days a week
• Eight (8) person dorms complete with cable television and
• Open movement from 6 am to 10 pm
• Cafeteria style dining with salad bar and hot bar
• Commissary with walk-up feature open 7 days a week
• Daily recreation activities and resources including exercise
equipment, soccer field, volleyball court, basketball court,
indoor recreation center and handball court
• Computer lab with access to email and internet services
• English as a Second Language and Life Skills classes
The grand opening ceremony was complemented withHmm. Some of the same news media that are now expressing surprise at this damn boondoggle.
refreshments and tours given to national media outlets
including The New York Times, NBC News, NBC Universal
(Telemundo), Agence France Press, National Public Radio, and
KWX Univision. Local news media attending were CBS KENS
5, Fox 29 News, San Antonio Current, WOAI, ABC KSAT
12, Texas Public Radio, and the San Antonio Express News.
Several Non-Governmental Organizations attended and toured
the Center as well. Grassroots Leadership, Detention Watch
Network, Texas Civil Rights Project, and Islamic Society of
North America were some of the organizations in attendance.
Just a few tips from ICE if you want to send cousin Julio money or are planning a visit to see him. Don't send cash and don't show up drunk.
If detainees receive funds in the mail, they will be taken to the processing area for the money to be placed into their account. The processing officer will provide a receipt for all funds received. Detainees are cautioned not to have cash sent to them in the mail.No one wants to be mean especially to innocent children but when pictures of this reach Latin America it cannot help but promote more illegal entries. Like Field of Dreams, if you build it they will come and that is probably its purpose.
andIf visitors are or appear to be intoxicated, visitation will not be allowed.