Emerald Corrections appears to be fast-tracking a proposed immigrant detention center in Mineral Wells, according to an article in the Mineral Wells Index ("ICE facility project heating up; Federal detention facility plans moving forward," February 13),
Emerald Companies will be submitting permitting and zoning plans to the city this week as the next step toward building an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detainee facility in Mineral Wells.
“I see no stumbling blocks or hindrances at this point,” Steve Afeman, chief operating officer of Emerald Companies, said.
The Mineral Wells Industrial Foundation and Emerald Companies entered into an option agreement Jan. 15.
“Basically, they’ve got 90 days to exercise their option … or they don’t get the land,” Industrial Foundation’s Steve Butcher said. “This makes us [feel the project] is moving ahead.”
Mineral Wells is already home to a state-contracted Corrections Corporation of America pre-parole and transfer facility that was the site of four smuggling arrests last year and at least one riot. See Nick's three part investigative series for more information. This facility also seems to spark considerable interest in our readers, with many family members commenting on conditions at the facility and many defenders of the prison posting lengthy rebuttals of our posts.
The major questions that jump out to me on the current Emerald proposal are: