(PNS reporting from DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEJAS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is opening what they call the first-ever “resort-style hotel” for immigrant detainees.
Critics are calling the new Karnes County (TX) Civil Detention Center a “prison for profit” but ICE is marketing it as a migrant “destination” with “vast amenities” that will keep immigrant detainees coming back for more.
The facility is the first of three new-style detention centers planned by the Obama Administration. Built under a federal overhaul of the immigrant detention system, these new “resort-style” detention centers are alleged to be a far cry from the old jail-like buildings. According to ICE sources, construction of the facility was completed by 100% immigrant labor, many of whom hope to be residents in the near future.
ICE says that the 608-bed, 29-acre resort, which will be fully operation in three weeks, will house only male detainees who pose minimal safety concerns, are not a flight risk and are highly trainable in a multitude of skilled labor positions.
According to ICE Director John Morton, the resort does not have guards but “resident advisers.” Instead of solitary confinement there are spas. The facility also includes a fitness center, soccer field, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool and fresh sand deliveries for beach-style volleyball.
Morton said there will also be a state of the art library (sans Mexican-American Studies books) and a Vegas-like dining area with personal chefs who are rumored to be under the tutelage of Chef Rick Bayless.
The dormitory-style “suites” have private bathrooms, complete with all the amenities you would expect at any five-star hotel, Morton said. The detainees will be referred to as “guests” have access to free Internet, room service, a gift shop and dry cleaning.
Morton told PNS that the Karnes facility (and others like it), are just one part of a “kinder, more gentle ICE” and that the new detention reform program will be “sensible, sustainable and attentive to the unique needs of the guests in custody”. Morton also said every “guest” would receive a lollipop and a souvenir cap upon arrival:
The Joe Arpaio days are over – that guy is an asshole! We’re interested in keeping people happy and raking in piles of money. Our new facilities are so fantastic that once you are a guest here, you won’t want to leave! And we’re pretty confident that you never will so you may as well be comfortable.
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Official photos from ICE.GOV.
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