Are Obama’s Immigration Prisons for Families Legitimate ‘Childcare Facilities’? Judge Says No

Following ruling, nearly 500 mothers and children were released from notorious immigrant prisons in Texas.

News Story (Texas)

Sarah Lazare
December 11, 2016

Tags: Detention Centers

Organizations mentioned/involved: RAICES (Texas), Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)


Nearly 500 mothers incarcerated with their children at euphemistically-termed immigrant family detention centers in Texas were released over the weekend following a judge’s ruling that such prisons cannot operate as childcare facilities.

The advocacy organization Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement “hurriedly released over 460 mothers and children from Karnes and Dilley Family Detention Center to Casa RAICES in San Antonio, Texas.” The group says that a “majority of families were released without travel plans, forcing RAICES staff and volunteers to work until 4:00 AM on Saturday night to communicate with families and arrange travel.” RAICES explained that it was forced to open another shelter at a local church and convent “to accommodate the overflow from our shelter.”