Immigration and Customs Enforcement Concerns Local Businesses
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, is attempting to move their headquarters in Lubbock from downtown to North Lubbock, but some local business owners are opposed to the idea.
ICE is a wing of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration. ICE has already attempted to move their Lubbock location once and failed. The Planning and Zoning Commission heard their case in May 2018 and advised the City Council not to approve the relocation.
According to a report by Victoria Larned of KAMC News, the recommendation was based on fears from nearby business owners and residents that an ICE location in north Lubbock would create security concerns. One business owner even said he might fear for the safety of his employees.
Cody Cowin, who works with GWB Real Estate, the company that owns the property in question, made his case to the City Council in May. He said the security concerns are unfounded, as there are reportedly no holding cells on the property lot.
According to Cowin, the building would only serve as a “processing location” and provide needed office space. To further calm fears, Cowin also said that no potential detainees would ever be held at the facility overnight. One business owner said he would want to see that promise in writing.
The move failed to pass in May, but is up again for consideration during an August 2nd meeting of the Lubbock City Council. ICE has been in news headlines recently, with many Democrat politicians calling for their abolishment over illegal immigration policy at the U.S. Mexico Border.