The West Texas Detention Facility

The west texas detention facility houses unauthorized immigrants that have been apprehended by immigration authorities. These people are awaiting an immigration judge’s decision or the outcome of their asylum application.

Thousands of noncitizens have been deported back to their home country in the past two years. Many of these people do not have legal counsel and have little understanding of what is going on or their rights in court.


The West Texas detention facility houses federal immigration detainees under a contract with ICE. This contract is a type of intergovernmental service agreement (IGSA) under which payments by ICE are made for the housing of federal detainees.

These detainees are imprisoned until their cases are decided in an immigration court. They are then expelled from the United States.

Once detained, they are given an Alien Detained Enrollment Number (A-Number), a 9 digit number. This is their identification number in the system and family members can use it to locate them using an online database.

As shown in Figure 1, a large percentage of those leaving the West Texas Detention Facility last year did so because they were being transferred to another ICE facility. These transfers included individuals to facilities under the control of the same ICE docket control office (DCO).


To provide an atmosphere of safety and security for inmates, staff and visitors, the visitation process is governed by regulations. Violations of these rules may result in termination, suspension, restriction, revocation or arrest of visiting privileges.

The jail’s visiting plan follows guidance and approval from local public health officials and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. The visitation program is designed to promote a positive and constructive experience for inmates, families and guests.

Adult visitors must present a valid government-issued photo identification card to enter the facility. Minors must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian at all times during their visits.


The west texas detention facility is a medium-security prison operated by visit the immigration detention center in Houston, TX and Customs Enforcement. It can hold up to 1,000 noncitizens who have been detained by ICE and are waiting for a hearing or an asylum decision.

The prison is run by LaSalle Corrections, a Louisiana-based private prison company that also operates a number of other ICE-run immigrant jails across the country. In 2018, the West Texas Detention Facility was ranked in the top 10 percent nationwide for the number of ICE detainees transferred to facilities outside the region.

A 2018 report by a group of legal groups, including the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services and Texas A&M University School of Law’s Immigration Rights Clinic, documented alleged abuse at the hands of a warden at the West Texas Detention Facility. The report cited multiple allegations of verbal threats, physical abuse and lack of medical care against African men who were detained at the facility.


There are many ways to stay connected with your loved ones while they are in jail. One way is to send them mail. However, it is important to follow the correct guidelines when sending mail.

For example, you must ensure that the mail you send has the correct inmate information on it. If you don’t, the facility may not receive it.

In addition, you should be aware that the facility is very strict about their policies. They will not accept any type of mail that may contain material that violates their security policies.

This is why it’s best to communicate with your loved ones through Smart Jail Mail. It will connect you with your inmate through online communication within minutes and will deliver your message directly to their inbox.

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