San Antonio based BCFS Health and Human Services is dropping a plan to buy a prominent Rio Grande Valley hotel for use as a processing center for unaccompanied Central American minors, after the proposal was trashed by conservative media, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Last week, BCFS submitted a request for a 'conditional use permit' to relocate and expand the organizations' existing facility in Harlingen into the Palm Aire Hotel in Weslaco. BCFS says non government funds would have been used to purchase the facility for $3.8 million.
Conservative bloggers immediately pounced on the plan, showing pictures of the Palm Aire's swimming pool and tennis courts, and labeling it as a 'Five Star Resort for Illegal Immigrants.'
BCFS blames 'misinformation in the media' for scrapping the plan.
It says it could have served as s 600 bed facility, where they children would have been able to have a place to sleep, many of the immigrant children are currently housed in 'warehouse like' facilities in the Rio Grande Valley. It says the facility would have been able to allow medical and mental health care, case management, and religious services.
"BCFS is disappointed that misinformation has fueled so much negativity against this effort that its success is likely jeopardized," spokeswoman Krista Piferrer said.