detention centers | Texas Public Radio

detention centers

Ryan McCrimmon / The Texas Tribune

The state of Texas can't claim an emergency to quickly grant licenses for two private detention centers holding undocumented immigrant families for the federal government, a state district judge has ruled.

Ilana Panich-Linsman / KUT

A state judge has temporarily halted efforts for two Texas immigration detention centers to be licensed as child care facilities. That's put the future of the centers in Dilley and Karnes in Question.

A federal judge ordered the detention centers to secure state licenses in order to continue detaining children, many of whom have emigrated from Central America. But the deadline to be in compliance with that rule has already passed.

Advocates say the way Texas is now going about securing licenses isn’t fair.

A new report on conditions in immigrant detention centers around the country finds a systematic and ongoing failure by the Obama administration to adequately inspect facilities run by public and private contractors. The report alleges a pattern of basic human rights violations leading to deaths, suicides, violence and sexual assaults in facilities that were given a clean bill of health by federal inspectors.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

Since last summer's influx of migrants from Central and South America, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been detaining asylum seekers in private detention centers in Karnes City and Dilley, TX.  The facilities are marketed as family-friendly, but legal advocates for the detained have been working to shine a light on the deficiencies.  They aren't alone. 

Flickr user Fibonacci Blue / cc

On Fronteras this week:

·        Same-sex marriage is the law of the land but in Texas some county officials are resisting

·        A civil rights expert and legal scholar says efforts to slow implementation of Supreme Court rulings is nothing new.  He puts the same-sex marriage ruling into historical context.

·        Congressional Democrats are raising questions about detention centers holding women and children.

·        Tijuana residents are asking the government to save an old river habitat threatened by development.

The Department of Homeland Security says it is changing its family detention policies, but critics say the steps don't go far enough.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin releasing families now being held at ICE facilities who are "successful in stating a case of credible or reasonable fear of persecution in their home countries."

The families will have to post a monetary bond or other condition of release.

Joaquín Castro website image

SAN ANTONIO — Several members of Congress will visit two South Texas detention facilities that house immigrant mothers and children mostly from Central America.

Eight House Democrats next week will tour the two facilities in Karnes City and Dilley, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement opened after tens of thousands of unaccompanied children and families crossed the Texas-Mexico border last summer.

The eight are among 136 House Democrats asking the government to stop holding immigrant women and children in detention.

ICE, however, says the facilities are an effective and humane way to keep families together until they appear before immigration judges seeking asylum.

Grassroots Leadership

Is there a profit motive behind the build up on the border? A new report shows that for-profit immigration detention centers in South Texas have struck a deal providing guaranteed quotas of illegal immigrants held in detention.

Cristina Parker is the Immigration Projects Director at Grassroots Leadership

This Week On Fronteras:

-- The families and classmates of 43 missing Mexican college students traveled across the U.S. to raise awareness for their situation.

-- A movement is underway to prevent suicides by freeing immigrant mothers and their children from detention centers.

-- From New Mexico, here’s some stereotype defying information about gun violence.

-- The best bilingual teacher in the U.S. hails from Dallas.

-- A talk with the directors of the new border documentary, Western.

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