Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
EXCLUSIVE: More ammo for Trump: How housing an illegal immigrant for a night in the United States’ biggest detention center costs more than a stay at the nearest four-star Hilton Hotel
- The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley has 2,105 detainees
- It costs the government $231 to accommodate them for 24 hours
- That is more than a double room at Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio
- Group campaigning for taxpayers’ rights say the cost is ‘excessive’
- Cost revealed as Donald Trumpcampaigns on border security
A night’s stay for an illegal immigrant in the country’s largest taxpayer-funded detention center costs more than a room at the nearest Hilton Hotel, Daily Mail Online can reveal.
The government shells out $231 every 24 hours to house just one of the 2,105 foreign detainees at The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, a small town 200 miles from the Mexican border.
That is more than a double room at the four-star Hilton Palacio del Rio 70 miles away in San Antonio, which costs $169.
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It costs $231 to house a detainee at the Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement family detention center in Dilley, Texas, Daily Mail Online can reveal
It is also higher than the rate ($199) of a luxury King Suite at the four-star Hotel Cantessa – which boasts a rooftop pool and a gym.
The revelation has outraged a group campaigning for taxpayers’ rights who say there must be a way to detain these individuals without spending an ‘excessive’ amount of money.
And its more fodder for front-running presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is winning over Republican voters attacking the government of Mexico and outlining a plan to charge them $100,000 for every illegal immigrant who crosses the southern border.
He has attacked the Mexican government for allegedly ‘pushing’ undocumented immigrants to the U.S. to avoid dealing with them themselves.
Trump said that Mexico had been allowed to get away with the scheme because they are ‘smart’ and President Obama and his administration are ‘stupid’ – a situation which can only be fixed if he leads the charge to ‘take back our country’.
A report by the National Immigration Center suggests alternate methods to detention, including ankle monitoring bracelets, would cost the government between $17 and 17 cents a day.
The controversial center in Dilley, a town of just 3,650 people, was opened last May to accommodate an influx of families crossing the border and takes in around 40 immigrants every day.
More than 500 protesters gathered outside when the doors opened and chanted ‘shut it down’.
The facility, which costs more than $178million a year to run, forms part of the enormous network of facilities operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The agency which overseas the detention of illegal immigrants as an annual budget of $989million.
Flat screen TVs, playgrounds and 24-hour snacks are a few of the amenities on offer inside.
The 50-acre compound features 80 two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottages connected by dirt roads and newly laid grass sod.
The cottages include bunk beds and cribs that can sleep up to eight, and a kitchen – although cooking is prohibited to prevent fires.
Food is served in a dining hall but, according to reports, many children have rejected the food.
President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance David Williams told Daily Mail Online: ‘Taxpayers should be shocked and outraged that detainees are getting expensive accommodations at taxpayer expense.
The price is more than a double room at the four-star Hilton Palacio del Rio which sits on the banks of the historic River Walk 70 miles away in San Antonio, which will set you back $169
‘There is surely a way for the government to detain these individuals without spending this excessive amount of money.
‘Millions of Americans work their butts off every day to pay their taxes and live from paycheck to paycheck and are never able to afford such accommodations.
‘Let’s just hope that complimentary pillow mints and turn down service aren’t included in their stay.’
Daily Mail Online obtained the budget of detention centers run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement through a Freedom of Information Act request.
It gave a rundown of facilities across the country that house illegal immigrants before they are brought before the courts.
The average stay of a detainee is not known, but some could wait years until they are processed.
The cost of housing one detainee over 24 hours was then compared to a stay at one of the hotels if booked for one night from July 22 to July 23.
The center’s capacity was 2,105 as of July 10.
A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said: ‘Family residential centers are an effective and humane alternative for maintaining family unity as families go through immigration proceedings or await return to their home countries.
‘ICE ensures that these residential centers operate in an open environment, which includes medical care, play rooms, social workers, educational services, and access to legal counsel. Secretary Johnson has made it clear that individuals apprehended at the border, including families, are an agency priority and that ICE should allocate enforcement resources accordingly.
‘As directed in the Secretary’s Nov. 20, 2014 memorandum, ICE is using appropriate prosecutorial discretion and dedicating resources, to the greatest degree possible, to the removal of individuals who are considered enforcement priorities, who include recent border entrants.
‘ICE makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis, considering all the merits and factors of each case while adhering to agency priorities, guidelines and legal mandates.’
It is also higher than the rate ($199) of a King Suite at the four-star Hotel Cantessa – which boasts a rooftop pool and a gym
The controversial center in Dilley, a town of just 3,650 people, was opened last May to accommodate an influx of families crossing the Mexican border
More than 500 protesters pro-immigration gathered outside when the doors opened and chanted ‘shut it down’. The complex includes an indoor play area (entrance pictured)
There are also facilities to play video games on widescreen TVs inside the center