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Immigration Law

Texas Judge Blocks Licensing of Family Immigration Jail

Grassroots Leadership, May 4, 2016 -"A judge in Austin today issued a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from implementing 40 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 748.7 to issue a childcare license to the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.  The order lasts until next Friday, May 13th, when the court will hear Grassroots Leadership’s application for a Temporary Injunction that would indefinitely halt implementation of a Texas regulation that allows Texas childcare licenses for federal immigrant detention facilities near the cities of Dilley and Karnes City, Texas.  The Dilley facility affected by the Temporary Restraining Order is the largest, and has room for 2,400 occupants. The order responded to a suit filed by Grassroots Leadership to halt childcare licensing of controversial immigrant family detention centers in South Texas. “Today, we are glad a judge has agreed to halt, at least temporarily, the appalling practice of labeling family prisons as childcare facilities,” said Bob Libal, Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership.  “Family detention camps are prisons. They are not childcare facilities. DFPS has for a decade refused to regulate these facilities because they do not have authority to do so. The Texas agency has never regulated a facility this large.  Yet they came up with a regulation allowing a license in three months.  It was not done to protect children, but to protect the Obama Administration’s family detention program, putting children in harm’s way.” "

Texas Tribune, May 4, 2016 - "An Austin judge temporarily blocked the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from issuing a childcare license to an immigration detention center in Dilley on Wednesday. Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit organization opposed to for-profit prisons, sued the department on Tuesday challenging its authority to issue childcare licenses to privately run immigration detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City. The Karnes City facility has already received a temporary license. “Today, we are glad a judge has agreed to halt, at least temporarily, the appalling practice of labeling family prisons as childcare facilities,” said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership in a statement. “Family detention camps are prisons. They are not childcare facilities. DFPS has for a decade refused to regulate these facilities because they do not have authority to do so." The ruling by state District Judge Karen Crump said the temporary restraining order "is necessary to preserve the status quo while the validity of the agency's regulation" is disputed. The restraining order will expire in two weeks unless the court takes further action. It is scheduled to hear the organization's request for a temporary injunction on May 13."