Readers of Texas Prison Bid'ness may remember an Emerald Companies proposed immigrant detention in Caldwell County that was defeated after significant community opposition. It appears that a similar groundswell of opposition may be rising in Mineral Wells, where Emerald has proposed another immigrant detention center.
We first reported the new detention center proposal in February. Now, the Mineral Wells city council has delayed a vote on the facility for 30 days and promised public hearings on the proposed facility, according to a thorough article by Libby Cluett in the Mineral Wells Index ("ICE facility permit tabled," March 19).
Several citizens voiced their concerns Tuesday night over the city issuing a specific use permit to site the proposed Emerald Companies correctional and detention facility in the light industrial area near the Mineral Wells airport.
A group, including neighboring property owners and businesses, shared their diverse concerns, which led to a motion to table the decision to issue Emerald their needed permit to build an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detainee facility.
Some questioned the economic expense to the community versus the city’s potential gains. Others questioned moral issues regarding such ICE facilities.
Decision-makers in Mineral Wells may wish to look at the Grassroots Leadership pamphlet Considering a Private Jail? (PDF) or view our previous posts here, here, and here on prisons as economic development before moving ahead with the proposal. We'll keep you posted