Texas 'tent city' to become federal prison

Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence said local officials hope the new contract will restore the lost jobs and bring promised revenue to the county


By Lynn Brezosky
San Antonio Express-News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The "tent city" that became the nation's largest immigration detention center amid a George W. Bush administration vow to crack down on illegal entry is losing its immigration detainees and will become a federal prison for convicted criminal immigrants, officials confirmed Thursday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Nina Pruneda said the agency is making plans to relocate about 1,000 detainees from Raymondville's Willacy Detention Center and reassign some 99 ICE employees to a location elsewhere in the Rio Grande Valley.

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