Detaining Immigrant Kids Hasn’t Worked. U.S. Wants to Try Something New

Should the federal government be in the business of detaining immigrant families, especially if they're seeking asylum in the U.S.?

News Story (NATIONAL)

Amanda Sakuma
NBC News
April 1, 2016

Tags: Children & Juvenile, Deportation, Immigration Process

Organizations mentioned/involved: RAICES (Texas)


Officials are exploring new options for family detention that do not rely solely on the nation’s massive and highly controversial facilities in south Texas. If implemented, the reforms would scale back family detention as we now know it, and replace it with a network of smaller facilities before the next administration takes control.

Federal officials are quietly recruiting potential service providers to run new — and far smaller — facilities sprinkled throughout the southwest, limited to either California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

New facilities would ideally house as many as 500 people, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in its request filed in mid-March. The stipulations are merely a fact-finding mission and a far cry from a full proposal. Model candidates to run the facilities would also meet extensive standards in providing social services tailored for children. Smaller centers would also mean greater flexibility for ICE to respond to seasonal migration flows at the border.