ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Mayor Anthony Williams addressed Abilene’s ongoing immigration issue during Thursday’s city council meeting, saying some immigrants are being released into the local community with no resources.
Last week, KTAB and KRBC reported on mysterious Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) planes transporting immigrants in and out of the Abilene Regional Airport.
Mayor Williams says city, county, state, and federal officials were not notified of this operation.
From his research, he was able to track the flights beginning in June and since then, ICE has brought around 200 immigrants into this area.
The immigrants are processed by ICE – most of them at a local detention facility – then they are released on bond to fight their cases in court.
Of the 200 immigrants, Mayor Williams says 65 were dropped off at the Salvation Army on Butternut Street.
“I think it’s unconscionable to release individuals into a community if they have no resources. It is unfair to them and it is unfair to Abilene, Texas, also,” Mayor Williams explains.
He has been working with state and Federal officials and says that as he learns more information, he will release it to the public.
Congressman Jodey Arrington is in Abilene and will hold a press conference on this issue Thursday afternoon.
The Salvation Army released the following statement regarding the immigrants at their facility:
In collaboration with Bluebonnet/ICE, the Abilene Regional Airport, and other agencies, The Salvation Army in Abilene is providing emergency, overnight shelter, shower facilities, and meals to immigrants who have been vetted and processed by US Immigration and are awaiting transportation to approved destinations within the USA. The Salvation Army is living out its mission to “meet human needs in His name, without discrimination” in the midst of the humanitarian crisis along our countries border, as we have done in Abilene for more than 113 years.