RESIDENTS of a town near the US-Mexico border say they're terrified that migrants will escape from a packed facility next door and "hold them hostage".
Fears are boiling over in the town of Midland, Texas, where the Biden administration is reportedly paying $33 million to house 500 unaccompanied migrant youths in a luxury compound.
The migrants are being housed at The Cotton Logistics, which was built in 2012 as a "man camp" for oil workers and has 700 beds.
According to its website, Cotton Logistic's Midlands facilities are built like all-inclusive hotels with five-star hospitality, including wireless internet,cable TV and a state-of-the-art gym.
One local, Shon Crabtree, 42, told the Daily Mail that the town is "scared" about the migrants being housed in their backyards.
"I'm worried about some of them escaping and coming to my house and holding my family hostage until they get what they want or taking a vehicle. We are scared," he said.
Crabtree added that other locals are also concerned that they may catch COVID-19 from the migrants, or that the children, who range between 12-17, may have ties to Central America's violent criminal gangs.
"I'm sure there are some MS13 or Barrio 18 gang members in there," he added. "[My wife] works from home and keeps the blinds in the front windows shut all day long."
Currently there is a small wooden picket fence surrounding the camp. A new 10-ft chain-link fence is currently under construction.
There is also one police officer stationed inside for every 50 detainees, and federal authorities conduct patrols of outside of the camp 24 hours per-day.
Still, Crabtree says the measures are doing little to mitigate the fears of his family and neighbors.
Further adding to his ire, Crabtree says the asylum seekers appear to be "living better than us", and that the camp has likely caused the value of his property to plummet.
"A week ago they were illegally crossing into our country and now they are living it up it up with all of the food they can eat and playing soccer all day," he told the Daily Mail.
"They are living better than us. I see them in new clothing, they line up for their meals three times a day, and then play and watch TV."
Crabtree continued that a week ago, prior to the camp being in operation, his house was worth $300,000.
"Right not it's worth zero because of this detention facility," he claimed. "With this literally in my front yard, I couldn't sell it. There is nothing we can do, we are stuck.
"No one is going to want to move next to a detention facility. They are putting up wired fences, they have flood nights at night and the streets are crawling with federal vehicles."
Crabtree says both he and other locals have all had problems sleeping as a result of the noise from the camp and floodlights periodically shining through their windows.
The disgruntled Trump voter said nobody from the state warned the residents of Melville about plans for the detention facility.
He says instead they just "woke up one day" to find Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) vehicles parked outside.
The US government is paying Cotton Logistics $33 million to rent out the "man camp" for 12 months, Crabtree claimed to the Mail.
Additional amenities at the camp include a kitchen and dining facility, a hot and cold meal service, an indoor recreation room, a fire pits, a basketball court and daily housekeeping, its website states.
Crabtree called the hiring of the luxury facility a "huge waste of tax payer money" and blasted President Joe Biden as a "piece of s**t" for sanctioning the move.
He also likened his home life now to like living across from a prison, and said he is having to pay thousands of dollars to install a security system on his property "in case of an escape."
"It's ridiculous to have to put money into something that's worth nothing now because of Biden," he told Daily Mail. "It's socialism, its communism. It's everything, I never thought in a million years, my government would do this."
The outlined amenities at Cotton Logistics are in stark contrast to photos released by Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar over the weekend, which showed hundreds of migrant children penned in shoulder-to-shoulder at a facility in Donna.
Cueller described the conditions inside as "terrible", insisting the camp was not equipped to look after children.
Under mounting scrutiny caused by Cuellar's leak, the Biden administration later released images of their own of Donna, and another similar camp, which also showed cramped conditions in each.
In a statement accompanying the photos, the CBP said it is working to "balance the need for public transparency and accountability."
"CBP continues to transfer unaccompanied minors to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as quickly and efficiently as possible after they are apprehended on the Southwest Border," the statement read.
"In order to protect the health and safety of our workforce and those in our care we continue to discourage external visitors in our facilities; however, CBP is working to balance the need for public transparency and accountability."
CBP Facilities are currently at capacity under coronavirus protocol, and the Rio Grande Valley sector, which includes Donna, has even far exceeded its non-pandemic limits.
Several thousands migrants, many of whom are unaccompanied children, have been flocking to the border since Biden's inauguration in quantities not seen in over two decades.
As of Saturday, a total of 10,000 migrants were in CBP custody, nearly half of whom were unaccompanied minors.
Of those children, 823 have been held at facilities for more than 10 days, a more than fourfold increase on the week prior, and 2,226 have been held for more than five.
This comes despite the CBP having a three-day limit for detaining children.
Many of those being held have reportedly be prohibited from phoning their parents or any other relatives who may be wondering where they are, reports say.
While thousands more migrants are expected to arrive at the border in the weeks ahead, the Biden administration has so far refused to refer to the unfolding chaos as a "crisis".
Vice President Kamala Harris came under fire earlier this week when she erupted into laughter when asked by a reporter whether she had plans to visit the border.
"Not today," she responded, before letting out a belly laugh in front of Air Force one. "But I have before, and I'm sure I will again."
Having previously stated he had no plans to visit the crossing, President Joe Biden, meanwhile, said on Sunday that he will make the trip "at some point" when pressed on the matter.
The embattled president then revealed Wednesday that designated Harris to lead the administration's efforts to stem migration at the Southern border.
"She's the most qualified person to do it — to lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle, and the countries that are going to need help in stemming the movement of so many folks — stemming the migration to our southern border," he said.
"It's not her full responsibility and job, but she's leading the effort, because I think the best thing to do is put someone who, when he or she speaks, they don't have to wonder about — is that where the president is? As she speaks, she speaks for me, doesn't have to check with me, she knows what she's doing —and I hope we can move this along."
In addition to discouraging migrants from flocking across the border, Harris will also be working to make it safer people to apply for asylum and legal pathways in their home nations instead of making the dangerous trip.
Wednesday's announcement came after CBP officials revealed agents had made more than 100,000 apprehensions in February alone – a 28 percent surge on the previous month.
Most were single adult migrants who were expelled under a Trump-era public health order enacted at the beginning of the pandemic, officials said.
Nearly 9,500 unaccompanied children entered US border custody that same month, setting a new record.
Currently registering an average of 530 encounters per day this moth, border officials are on track to take in 16,000 unaccompanied children in March – an all-time record high.
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