A Baptist nonproift is planning to try to open a $50 million facility for children who have illegally immigrated to the United States.
The facility will be located in Weslaco, Texas, reported KRGV this week.
The BCFS Health and Human Services nonprofit got a multi-million federal contract to house immigrants at the site of the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites. Officials with the nonprofit said
BCFS, according to its website, is a “global network of non-profit organizations operating health and human services programs throughout the U.S., Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.”
Officials with the organization said they have 600 beds once the hotel is turned into immigrant housing. About 650 jobs were created to create the site.
“It’s going to be an intake facility, which serves as a lot like a hospital emergency room,” Krista Piferrer, BCFS VP External Affairs, told the station. “We’ve all seen the photos and the videos of children in crowded Border Patrol facilities. What this site is going to allow to happen is quickly move those children out of Border Patrol cells and triage them,” Piferrer added.
The organization is currently trying to get a license in Weslaco.
According to the Valley Morning Star, the facility will house children between the ages of 12 and 17. They’ll immediately be taken from Border Patrol custody and will be housed at the Weslaco facility for about 15 days each.
The children will get medical and mental health care, educational programs, and recreation.
“This facility shows great promise for this program, because it allows for outdoor recreation facilities,” Piferrer said. “Soccer is a favorite among the youth that we serve. We would establish a fence around the perimeter.”
City Attorney Ramon Vela issued an opinion, saying that “the city of Weslaco needs to determine if any conditions need to be placed on the type of operation that is going to be there, what children will be allowed or not allowed, how many children will be allowed, whether the operation of this facility will or will not impose on the adjoining landowners in the use and enjoyment of their property.”