Immigrant family detention centres face uncertain future

2015-06-07 17:07


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San Antonio - The government has poured millions of dollars into two family detention centres in Texas designed to hold immigrant women and their children caught crossing the Mexico border.

But as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement expands the centres to make space for the next wave of arrivals, the agency faces legal and political challenges that could shut them down.

A federal judge in California has tentatively ruled that the policy violates parts of an 18-year-old court settlement that says immigrant children cannot be held in secure facilities. ICE has pledged to improve its centres while awaiting the judge's ruling.

If the efforts don't satisfy the court, ICE may eventually be forced to close the centres, leaving the federal government with few options besides reverting to releasing migrants with notices to appear.

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