Local News

Mar 12, 2014 2:07 PM by KSBY Staff

Special meeting for appeal of proposed ICE facility rescheduled

A new date has been set for a special Santa Maria City Council meeting for the appeal of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency facility in Santa Maria. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 27, at 3 p.m. at the Santa Maria Fairpark, located at 937 South Thornburg Street. The City says it is expecting a large crowd. The City announced Friday that the meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 12, was delayed because of a noticing defect. They say about 120 people who live within 1,000 feet of the proposed site did not receive notice in the mail about the appeal within the required time frame, which is 10 days before the hearing. In early February, the Planning Commission voted 3-1 to approve ICE's building permit. The proposed 12,700 square-foot building would be located on the west side of Santa Maria near the corner of McCoy Lane and South Depot Street. ICE officials have said it would be used as a processing center for felons released from prison in order to determine their citizenship status. ICE's current facility is located at the federal prison in Lompoc. Some people in the city are worried that a headquarters in Santa Maria would result in agents rounding up undocumented immigrants. Others are concerned about the facility's impact on the surrounding neighborhood and the possibility of an escape from the facility. City officials have tried to calm residents' fears, saying ICE only targets criminals who are released from prison. At least four appeals were received.  

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