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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

No sign of Midland migrant facility closing

It has been 10 weeks since the migrant holding facility opened.

MIDLAND, Texas — Midland DPS troopers are headed to the Texas-Mexico border to help with the influx in migrants. 

According to Terry Johnson, Midland County Judge, the county found out about troopers leaving Monday morning. 

Some of those migrants apprehended are heading to the holding facility right here in Midland.

As of Monday, there are just over 300 children there, both boys and girls, all under the age of 17.

In April alone, there were 178,622 people apprehended at the border. 

With numbers like that, local leaders believe holding facilities like the one in Midland will not be going anywhere anytime soon.  

“Border patrol isn’t patrolling the border, they’re doing human services," Johnson said. "They’re taking care of babies and families, they’re doing things other than keeping us safe."

Johnson worries agents are way too overwhelmed.

"This is a harrowing deal going on and we have to put up a closed sign to get a handle on this and then open it back up the right way," Johnson said. 

When it comes to the holding facility, city and county leaders here tell us they are still getting minimal details from the federal government on the operation.  

Every day during the week they get a report on how many children are there and how many have COVID-19.  

As of Monday, nine had tested positive for the virus.  

The judge tells us other than that, most of their questions and requests about the facility have gone been unanswered.  

It is unclear what exactly the federal government has planned for the migrant facility in Midland County.  

“It’s been real quiet from them to us," Johnson said. "They’re still bringing children in and taking children out.” 

Initially, city and county leaders were angry the federal government gave them no warning about the facility opening. Now that it has been a few months, the dust has started to settle. 

“I guess the shock of all and it did create anger and I say the word angst because there were a lot of people wondering does this mean?," Johnson said. "We as a community, the folks who must deal with the emergency services, the hospital, the sheriff’s department were concerned what does this mean to us? But it turns out they have done everything in-house. It hasn’t required anything from the county. In fact, they don’t want anything from the county.”  

But the county wants something from the federal government: action.  

“We are a country of order and when you interject chaos in our system it doesn’t work so something has got to change," Johnson said.

Until things change, the judge worries that the community here will continue to be impacted.