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Immigration Law

Texas Family Detention Center Now Licensed for Child Care; Expert Details Trauma of Detention

"A corrections corporation that manages a family detention center for Immigration and Customs Enforcement received a child care license from the state of Texas in May, raising questions among attorneys and activists as to whether the company is trying to comply with a court ruling forbidding the detention of minor children in unlicensed facilities." - Nuri Vallbona, NCR, June 10, 2015.

"I can unequivocally state that the children in the Karnes facility are facing some of the most adverse childhood conditions of any children I have ever interviewed or evaluated.  Untold harm is being inflicted on these children by the trauma of detention.  What is more is that the children at Karnes are experiencing trauma upon trauma upon trauma. That is, they not only suffered the trauma of having their lives threatened and disrupted by fleeing their native countries but they also experienced, witnessed, and heard of violent, traumatic events in their crossing through Mexico.  On top of these serial and often long-term traumatic experiences, the children are exposed to the deprivation and constant threat of living in a facility in which they have no sense of their future. ... [M]y interviews led me to conclude that even a few weeks of detention has exacerbated the trauma experienced by these families and added a new layer of hardship that, with respect to the children in particular, may be irreversible." - Declaration of Luis H. Zayas, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin.

See also this May 27, 2015 letter from Members of Congress to DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson calling for the end of family detention.