News Release from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

February 12, 2009
CONTACT: Tomas Larralde at 512-463-0119

Senator Uresti Visits Reeves County Detention Facility

San Antonio, TX — Senator Carlos Uresti visited the Reeves County Detention Facility, Friday, February 5, 2009, to tour the facility after recent reports of rioting at the privately-run, federally-controlled facility. The 2,400 bed facility holds undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes and whom are awaiting extradition to their home countries.

"I was concerned about the safety of the staff given the recent reports. I felt it my responsibility to see for myself the impact the rioting had done to the conditions of the facility."

The tour also allowed Senator Uresti to visit with the Federal of Bureau of Prison officials and management of the GEO group that runs the operations of the prison. The Senator had previously visited the Prison last year and continues to carefully monitor the activities there.

"Given its location near the Mexican border, this facility is well positioned to fulfill this demanding purpose; however, we as a state need to ensure that we support the federal government's mission by giving the county government in Reeves the tools they need to support the facility. The recent riots damaged part of the facility and we need to make sure those responsible are held accountable," stated Senator Uresti.

Senator Uresti will continue to dialogue with elected officials in the area and with federal officials concerning the facility. Uresti stated that, "I have been diligent in monitoring the operations of the prison and will continue to do what I can as a state official to ensure the facility and those who staff it are given what is needed to operate the facility in an efficient yet safe manner."

Senator Uresti represents Senate District 19, a 55,000 square mile area extending from the city of San Antonio in Bexar County to the Lower Valley of El Paso County. The largest legislative district in the nation, it spans two time zones, and contains nine of the 14 border counties in Texas, two-thirds of the U.S.-Mexico border within Texas, and all or part of 23 counties. Senate District 19 is home to five U.S. ports of entry, three U.S. toll bridges, 62 school districts, seven military sites, six state parks, and two national parks.