The federal government is considering placing a detention center here in Orlando that would house up to 500 unaccompanied immigrant children (story HERE).
While lawmakers from both sides can agree the immigration system is broken and this should be standing debate in Washington, the timing of this search has ensured opponents of President Donald Trump are prepared to make this an issue heading into next year’s elections.
And while Trump stands little chance of winning Orange County, the location of this detention center in the “Heart of the I4 Corridor” will hurt him in Florida.
There is already another similar and controversial facility in South Florida, but the development of another center here will be a negative reminder of White House policy to Florida residents along each step of the process.
And while the center is in Orange County, the Orlando/Daytona Beach media market stretches all the way the east coast. Your average middle of the road voters won’t like this project.
Whether they agree with White House immigration policy or not, they certainly don’t want this detention center tied to their community’s reputation. We already have enough children living in hotels because they can’t find affordable housing.
Then there is the negative outlook on the tourism industry here in Orlando. This detention center is just a short drive away from Disney World and Universal Studios.
Mickey Mouse. Harry Potter. And 500 kids lost in our immigration system.
I’m trying to track the rational thought behind picking this location. The President kicks off his reelection campaign here, and a couple of months later this project comes down. It’s just such bad judgement from the administration.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle should be trying to send this project elsewhere.
And lawmakers from both sides should also be trying to eliminate the partisan gridlock in congress, so we can make some real progress on immigration policy and one day, hopefully, we won’t need these types of facilities at all.