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An audience member speaks against the proposed ICE facility in Santa Maria at the Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night

Frank Cowan/Santa Maria Times

An audience member speaks against the proposed ICE facility in Santa Maria at the Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night


Santa Maria Moves Toward New ICE Facility

Thousands Turn Out to Protest Decision; Lois Capps ‘Disappointed’ by ICE’s Lack of Communication


Friday, February 7, 2014
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The Santa Maria Planning Commission on Wednesday approved the development permit for a 9,700-square-foot federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility, despite a turnout of about 5,000 people at the hearing, most of whom were in opposition and 1,500 of whom filled the city’s Fairpark convention center. The project will move forward with acquiring building permits unless the commission’s 3-1 decision is appealed to the Santa Maria City Council, said city planner Neda Zayer.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement official Steve Finn listens to a question from the Santa Maria Planning Commission during Wednesday night's meeting.
Click to enlarge photo

Frank Cowan/Santa Maria Times

Immigration and Customs Enforcement official Steve Finn listens to a question from the Santa Maria Planning Commission during Wednesday night’s meeting.

To be located at 740 West Century Street in Santa Maria, the one-story building, surrounded by six-foot-high wrought iron fencing in the front and eight-foot-high barbed wire fencing in the back, will take over the duties currently being performed at the ICE center at the Lompoc Federal Correction Institute, said ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley. The facility will hold up to 13 detainees — all transfers from regional jails or prisons — for no more than 12 hours; most will stay for a couple of hours before being moved to a Los Angeles-area detention center.

“The public should understand that ICE is focused on sensible, effective immigration enforcement, prioritizing our efforts first on individuals who present the greatest risk to the communities,” Haley said, noting that the majority of those taken into custody at the Lompoc facility, in operation since 1996, had been convicted of serious crimes. Haley added that people don’t need to be worried about living nearby and that ICE is “committed to working with the local leaders” to address any concerns.

An audience member listens to discussion of a proposed ICE facility in Santa Maria at the city Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night.
Click to enlarge photo

Frank Cowan/Santa Maria Times

An audience member listens to discussion of a proposed ICE facility in Santa Maria at the city Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Congresswoman Lois Capps said that ICE hadn’t done enough to assess area residents’ issues with the facility, referencing the project’s history, which saw Planning Commission and City Council hearings regarding a General Plan amendment and a zoning change.

“I’ve been extremely disappointed in the lack of outreach and communication from ICE regarding the proposed new facility they are seeking in Santa Maria,” she said. “It troubles me that concerned citizens may not have even known about the proposed facility had they not been paying attention to the City Council agenda. This is not the way to build productive relationships or ease the community’s concerns. Given the significant local interest in this proposed facility and the desire for continued communication, I sincerely hope that ICE will be responsive to the community’s input.”

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

nobody's gonna touch this one?
too easy I guess....

garfish (anonymous profile)
February 8, 2014 at 7:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Illegal immigration = bad
Legal immigration = good

This is a very, very difficult thing for many people to understand - especially on the left or for people coming from corrupt, patron type Latin governments where the rule of law is a nuisance and fatherly leaders control people's lives.

Working hard and being exploited by businesses is not a reason to ignore the rule of law - except in the minds of most in attendance at this meeting and he white lib-dem overseers and dependency pimps.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
February 8, 2014 at 7:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Got One!

garfish (anonymous profile)
February 8, 2014 at 7:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Im so tired of hearing about how "hard" the illegals work..

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
February 10, 2014 at 11:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Who believes this new facility will hold NO MORE than 13 detainees and for NO LONGER than 12 hours each?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
February 10, 2014 at 2:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The same squeaky wheels making the same squeaky noise about how "unfair" US immigration policy is.
I'm willing to bet if the immigration policies exempted them & focused on other ethnic/racial groups the whining by this set would cease and desist.
Like with the gang issue, it isn't about race, it is about immigration status and there's plenty of White folks to the north of us as well as across the pond that if they don't have their ducks in line, its back you go!
By the way, just got to love that sticker on the forehead look, really makes a point with the point being IDIOT!

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
February 10, 2014 at 5:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why isn't Mexico's stringent immigration policies unfair?

Also seems odd so many who profess to hate America and everything it has long stood for, are the same people who want open borders so more people can come here.

What's with that? Cloward-Pivens or something.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
February 10, 2014 at 5:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If you're here illegally, expect to be treated like the criminal you are...

Illegal immigrants are cheaters. They lie, cheat and steal for their own benefit. They do not benefit our community, our society or our country. They have cheated and deserve no special treatment, in fact, they should be deported and forced to the back of the line.

There are millions of educated, willing people waiting patiently for their turn to come to the USA. These people stole from each of them and they continue to steal from each of us...

Enough is enough. Either follow the rules and the law or face the consequences.

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
February 12, 2014 at 8:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

iamsomeguyinsb, 100%, all applies, REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOR, ETHNICITY! You got it dead on the head, in for the kill!

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
February 12, 2014 at 3:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is nothing inherently immoral about breaking a law so you cannot assume that because a person chooses to break a law that they will also choose to lie or cheat or hurt other people. Not to mention many people here illegally came with their parents and had no choice in the matter.

People come here for a better opportunity. It may be a better opportunity for welfare in some cases, but not in all cases.

Here's a funny picture:

http://cdn.iwastesomuchtime.com/29201...

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 12, 2014 at 4:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loony: "People come here for a better opportunity. It may be a better opportunity for welfare in some cases, but not in all cases."

True, very true & accurate.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 8:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The children of illegals learn early on that they do not need to abide by the law or respect it... for they're taught by their parents actions that the law is applicable only when they "feel" that its appropriate.

This is a moral issue and one that illegal immigrants bring upon themselves. And therefore its no wonder that a large portion of their children end up as gang members and criminals, its what they're taught from their parents. To ignore the law, the process and to do as they please. And we teach them that they can by not enforcing the very laws that are here to prevent this moral deprecation.

And this doesn't even begin to touch on the fact that regardless of their reasons for breaking the law, immigrating to the USA by underground channels, they are in fact stealing the very opportunity from people who do follow the law and do wait their turn. People who do have legitimate claims to immigrate, not just because they want more money.

No amnesty, no forgiveness, no special treatment. Go to the back of the line and wait your turn. That is the only way to treat all peoples the same.

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
February 13, 2014 at 10:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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