EL CENTRO â€“ Supervisors Ryan Kelley (District 5) and Jack Terrazas (District 2) met with officials from Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the redistribution of illegal immigrant families and minors coming Wednesday to the Imperial County.
Kelley reported that busloads of family units totaling 140 individuals will arrive at El Centro every 3 days until the pressure is relieved from the Texas Rio Grande Valley Sector.
Every three days ICE will process the new arrivals which is estimated to take three days to process the detainees.
According to ICE officials, no unaccompanied minors will be bused and no adult males, unless they are with a minor.
After processing, if the detainees can prove they have a family member in the United States, than they can be picked up or they must prove a family member is sending bus, train, or plane tickets. The Border Patrol will escort those with tickets to the appropriate station.
Kelley commented after speaking with the ICE officials, â€œIt seems that there is more organization to this process than we heard about on Friday. They will not interfere with the countyâ€™s regular processing in Calexico.â€
Jack Terrazas, at the Tuesday Board meeting, said that FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency has the charge of making arrangements with the local agencies to help anyone impacted as far as detention, expatriation, or any movement until their court date.
Terrazas said, â€œWe are trying to get ready in case there is any impact locally. We fear that our services are stretched out, but with small numbers if there is any impact it will be just 10% of those processed. That could be manageable, unless of course it continues for a long time, than that could change the whole story.â€
Supervisor Michael Kelley (District 3) said, â€œThis is just the tip of the iceberg, the next wave will be worst, there will be unaccompanied minors that find their way to the US.â€
Kelley had made a suggestion the previous week to leave the current ICE facility in tack to hold the detainees, instead of letting 400 employees go. The ICE facility can hold 700 people. Kelley suggested contracting with the Federal Government to hold the minors and their accompanying family members at ICE instead of continuing to shut it down.
He reported being notified that U.S. Representative Juan Vargas is taking the lead on that suggestion and seeing if he can keep the ICE facility open to hold the wave of immigrants scheduled to come.