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Immigration Law

Texas Mulls Licensure of Immigration Jails for Refugee Kids, Moms

Andrea Ball, Austin American-Statesman, Jan. 29, 2016 - "The speakers trekked to the podium one after another, simultaneously lambasting and pleading with a panel of child protection officials weighing the fate of thousands of immigrant mothers and children in detention centers.  Why on earth, they demanded to know, would state officials even think about licensing these places as child care facilities?  “They are prisons, plain and simple,” said Antonio Diaz, an anti-detention center advocate with the Texas Indigenous Council.  “They are prisons for profit.”  And so it went for four hours at the December public hearing on whether the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services should license and regulate two Texas facilities that house undocumented mothers and children.  But that debate is coming to an end.  The agency is expected to announce its decision in the next few weeks.  At stake is whether the Texas detention centers, built after the 2014 influx of Central American families and children into the state, will remain open for business."