By DAVID MAY
U.S. Congressman Mike Conaway has made it clear to Obama Administration officials that his Texas 11th Congressional District, which includes Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County, will oppose any effort to house or resettle any of the unescorted children who have crossed into the U.S. illegally.
In response to questions earlier this week from the Index regarding any possible relocation of children to the area, Conaway, R-Texas, fired off a letter Wednesday to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
In part, Conaway wrote: “Returning illegal migrants to their homes is an appropriate and humane deterrent to stem this tide and will help you regain control of the border. Should you choose not to pursue a policy of returning illegal migrants, I am writing today to make abundantly clear that I will oppose every effort to relocate any illegal aliens to the 11th District of Texas. I cannot support and I will not ask my constituents to bear the burdens of policy that encourages human trafficking, ignores your legal responsibilities, and fails to address the crisis at hand.”
There is no indication of plans to relocate children to any locations within Conaway’s congressional district. Dallas city officials are preparing for plans to place several thousand children at facilities there.
Some locally have wondered if the closed Corrections Corporation of America prison facility at Wolters Industrial Park might come into consideration for housing children. A closed detention center in West Texas is being considered as a holding facility for hundreds of unaccompanied children who have entered South Texas from Central America.
The former Bill Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield, approximately 40 miles northwest of Lubbock, was built about 15 years ago by the town but has become a financial drain since its closure in 2009. City officials hope they can generate a revenue stream by reopening the 382-bed center to temporarily house migrant children.