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CBP plans to detain ‘illegal aliens’ in Crystal City Correctional Facility in Texas

Crystal City Correctional Center

U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to award a sole source contract to the Crystal City Correctional Facility in Texas to detain an unspecified number of “illegal aliens awaiting deportation proceedings,” according to a special notice CBP posted on Oct. 27.

In order to meet requirements laid down by the U.S. Marshals Service, “the detainees must be kept in the custody of an approved county or state jail facility…” says the CBP notice.

It appears there is extra room available at the Crystal City Correctional Facility, which is located about 120 miles southwest of San Antonio, because 96 inmates from the Bexar County (Texas) Jail were recently relocated to the Crystal City facility, for a period of about six days, while electrical repairs are being made at the Bexar County Jail.

“The low-custody inmates, described by Sheriff Adadeo Ortiz as ‘the Boy Scouts, if you will, of the jail,’ were removed from two units intended to house inmates temporarily, according to an online report posted on Oct. 27 by the Web site

The Crystal City Jail has suffered some blemishes to its reputation over the years.

In 2009, an inmate allegedly hung himself in his Crystal City jail cell. “Other suicides last year included Franky Salinas, one of the several-hundred Bexar County detainees shipped out to other jails because of overcrowding issues,” reported another Web site, the San Antonio Current. “The 19-year-old was awaiting trial on charges of aggravated kidnapping when he was found hanging at the Crystal City Correctional Facility on August 26.”

Decades earlier, during World War II, Crystal City, TX, became the location for a major Japanese-American internment camp run by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Crystal City Correctional Center is currently being operated by a private company, LaSalle Southwest Corrections, which is based in Ruston, LA. “LaSalle Corrections is an established developer and operator of correctional centers throughout the State of Louisiana and Texas,” says the company on its Web site. “LaSalle currently manages ten facilities with a total inmate capacity of over 7,600 and leases one facility to a law enforcement agency.”

Further information about the sole source selection of the Crystal City Correctional Facility is available from Leticia Ramos, a contract specialist with CBP, at 956-764-3278 or [email protected].


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