While federal officials are planning to move families seeking American
citizenship from a Texas detention center that is closing to a Berks County
shelter, the county commissioners are considering getting out of the
The Family Center in Bern Township is the only other
facility in the country that houses families awaiting hearings or the results of
hearings on requests to stay in the U.S.But with tight economic times, the Berks
County commissioners may end up closing the Bern Township center, which opened
in 2001.So far, no definite plans have been made to shut down the 84-bed center
housing detained immigrant families captured at the borders and in other
Closing the facility would mean the loss of 50 county jobs, officials
said.But the county isn't profiting from the money the U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement service pays the county for housing the detainees .
"At the initial stages we were permitted to make a profit, but now we are breaking even on it," Commissioner Chairman Mark C. Scott said. "We have been helpful to the federal government for a decade.
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