Lawyers: Immigrant families released quicker from Texas holding centers since ICE policy shift

Mothers with children are being released from Texas immigrant detention centers more quickly in the weeks since the nation's top immigration official announced policy changes.

News Story (Texas)

Associated Press (AP)
July 14, 2015
Full story

Tags: Detention Centers, Immigration Process

Organizations mentioned/involved: RAICES (Texas)


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Richard Rocha wouldn’t confirm the uptick Tuesday or provide specific numbers of people being released. But he said that “going forward, ICE will generally not detain mothers with children” with a credible fear of persecution in their home countries, so long they can provide an address and are not deemed a national security or flight risk.

“This is a decision they should have made a long time ago,” said Jonathan Ryan, director of RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, which offers legal help to detainees.

Ryan said his volunteers have seen an increase in the number of women and children at the downtown San Antonio bus station who have been released from two South Texas facilities where immigrants are detained after crossing illegally into the U.S. The volunteers also noticed an increase in the number of families needing a place to stay overnight and other assistance.