Jim Zeigler asks DHS to cancel plan to house illegal detainees in Baldwin County

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Time reported on Friday it had obtained an internal document that details the U.S. Navy’s  plans to construct “temporary and austere” tent cities to house 25,000 illegal immigrants in the Yellowhammer State at two abandoned airfields — Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach and Navy Outlying Field Silverhill — and Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler is trying to stop them.

Navy Outlying Field Silverhill

Alabama map of proposed Naval sites.

Zeigler, a resident of nearby Mobile County, sent a formal request to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asking her to cancel the plans to construct two tent cities in Baldwin County.

Zeigler says the plan is “terribly flawed.”

He cited four problems with the plan:

  1. The area is a hurricane zone. “This area is a hurricane zone,” said Zeigler. “A tent city in a hurricane zone is dangerous for the detainees and the staff.  It would be difficult and costly to quickly evacuate the detainees when a hurricane heads our way, which happens frequently. This site is totally inappropriate for the intended purpose.”
  2. High temps and humidity. Zeigler continued, “The area has high temperatures and humidity.  There will be no air conditioning in a tent city.  Other geographical areas are available without the heat and humidity.  The site selection authority needs to be fired.”
  3. It’s near the state’s booming tourist industry. “The area is in or near Alabama’s booming tourist industry and highest revenue-generating area,” Zeigler explained. “Tourism and revenues would be adversely affected by these sites.  Optional areas are available that are isolated and are not vital to tourism and revenue generation.”
  4. Security. “Security is a continuous problem with a sprawling tent city in a residential area,” Zeigler added. “Escapees can commit crimes in the nearby neighborhoods.  Isolated areas are available that would not have this problem.”
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