Texas getting first immigrant lockup built under Trump

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A private prison company has announced a $110 million federal contract to build the first new immigrant detention center under the Trump administration.

The GEO Group said Thursday the 1,000-bed detention center will be in Conroe, Texas, north of Houston. It’s scheduled to open by December 2018.

The center coincides with President Donald Trump’s promised expansion of immigration detention, part of a crackdown on immigrants in the country illegally.

With 41,000-plus immigrants detained, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement already has a record detention capacity.

GEO is ICE’s second-largest private prison contractor. GEO said on a February investor call that it has approximately 3,000 empty beds nationwide. The company plans to build the new center instead of repurposing its unused capacity.

GEO referred questions to ICE, which didn’t immediately return requests for comment.