Immigration enforcement facility approved in Santa Maria
March 28, 2014
The Santa Maria City Council approved plans to build a U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement facility Thursday night, irking scores of residents. [KSBY]
Last month, the Santa Maria Planning Commission voted to issue ICE a permit to build the facility despite thousands of people showing up to protest the plan. The council then received four appeals of the project, but voted 3-2 Thursday to allow ICE to build the facility.
ICE officials say the facility will serve as a processing center for felons released from prison with questionable citizenship status.
“It will be targeted enforcement, targeted arrests after criminal aliens that are again in the community that are victimizing immigrants and the U.S. citizens here in the community,” said ICE spokesman David Marin.
But, residents voiced concerns that ICE would use the facility for rounding up undocumented immigrants in Santa Maria.
“The city council and the planning commission don’t care about our citizens,” said Santa Maria resident Walter Taylor. “They only care about the business they bring into the community.”
ICE will build the immigration enforcement facility near the corner of McCoy Land and South Depot Street in western Santa Maria.