Plan for Cary immigration office scrapped

This old Kroger building was considered for the ICE facility

July 12, 2011 1:30:05 PM PDT
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has canceled plans to set up shop in a former grocery store in suburban Cary after neighbors, town officials and a lawmaker intervened to protest the move.

Residents near the site at Highway 55 and High House Road were heavily opposed - even setting up a website and holding community meetings.

The General Services Administration announced its decision Tuesday to cancel the planned office location and begin considering other sites for the proposed consolidation of three immigration offices in the Research Triangle.

GSA Southeast Sunbelt Region Regional Administrator Shyam Reddy said in a statement Tuesday that "It is our intention to initiate a new Solicitation For Offers in the hope that suitable properties will be submitted for consideration that meet the requirements established by GSA and ICE."

U.S. Rep. David Price said he had asked the GSA to work with the town and its citizens to find another location for the office, which will investigate and process immigrants suspected of breaking laws or threatening national security.

"I think GSA has made the right decision to cancel this move and to reopen the consideration of lease options. It’s important that the Town of Cary and local residents be fully included in any decision about the location of a law enforcement facility of such a significant size in their community. I was glad to help bring the federal agencies together with the Town of Cary to ensure that all views and options were considered before a decision was made," he said in a statement.

The ICE website says the agency investigates and prosecutes suspects in cases of cyber-crimes, crimes against children, financial crimes, gangs, and human trafficking. ICE was created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and enforcement elements of the U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

An existing 15,000-square-foot immigration office has been in Cary for almost a decade, operating in an office park.

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