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Will Local Airport Become Unlawful Migrant Hub?

Rendering of a 3,200-square-foot U.S. Customs facility. | Image by Swinerton
Rendering of a 3,200-square-foot U.S. Customs facility. | Image by Swinerton

A new hangar and customs facility are coming to McKinney National Airport, but not without prompting speculation over whether the new facility is meant to facilitate the entry of unlawful migrants into the country.

The project will see the construction of a 40,000-square-foot hangar and a 3,200-square-foot U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility. Both buildings are anticipated to be completed by the end of 2024.

Corporate Hangar 10 will be built adjacent to Corporate Hangar 9, reported Community Impact. The cost is estimated at $12.5 million.

Additionally, the new CBP facility, which will house customs staff at the airport, will be constructed at a planned cost of $5.2 million.

“This spring will see the beginning of construction on a U.S. Customs facility that will receive international arrivals to the airport,” read a January City of McKinney press release.

However, not everyone is thrilled about the new customs installation.

“Is this for illegal immigrants?” Ann Morris wrote in a post on the Texas Scorecard Citizen’s Bureau public group page on Facebook.

In April, CBP released a report showing that over 400,000 potentially unlawful migrants have been flown into airports across the country under President Joe Biden’s “Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans” program, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The data indicates that two cities were among the top destinations in Texas: Dallas (2,256) and Houston (7,923).

In March, McKinney City Council members approved a $2.3 million construction contract for a taxi lane connector so the new hangar could be tied into the airport’s taxiway system, per Community Impact. The project is being finished through a public-private partnership.

McKinney City Council members approved the partnership agreement last year, which included a maximum project price just below $23 million, according to Community Impact.

Despite the concerns recently raised by some people online, the City of McKinney sees the airport projects as part of its economic development.

“We are thrilled to witness the rapid growth of McKinney National Airport in recent years, and we are excited about our future of air travel and development in the region. As we continue to expand and improve our facilities and services and shift our focus to development on the east side of the airport, we are confident our airport will bring significant economic benefits, including increased job opportunities, new businesses, and enhanced quality of life for our community,” Director of McKinney National Airport Ken Carley said in the city’s press release.

The Dallas Express reached out to the City of McKinney to inquire if the new hangar would facilitate the transportation of potentially unlawful migrants into the United States but did not receive a response by publication.

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