karnes
The Karnes County Residential Center is a detention center for immigrant women and their children in Karnes City, Texas. The facility is run by The GEO Group Inc. | Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

Hundreds More Immigrant Parents, Children to be Detained in Texas Facility

The Karnes County Residential Center stopped housing immigrant families in the spring because the White House said it couldn’t transport people there because of so many trying to cross the border.

But it will soon have hundreds of parents and their children again, according to The Washington Post. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will start housing immigrant families there again, outside of San Antonio, Tex.

The change comes because of a decline in both people arriving at the border to ask for asylum and a decline in apprehensions over the summer. On Saturday, officials wrote in a statement that they will revert Karnes “back to a family residential center in the near future.” Likely in a few months, The Post reported.

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Currently, Karnes is being used to hold about 700 adult women but for now, intake has been suspended and those women will be sent to other facilities.

Karnes can house up to 830 parents and children, according to Geo Group, the private contractor that runs the facility. The other two locations where immigrant families are being held is in Berks County, Pa., and Dilley, Tex.

Karnes is the second largest family center, according to The Post. Using the Karnes facility again means that ICE’s capacity to detain families is at around 3,000 people between the three facilities.

Women at Karnes have been complaining about poor medical care, a common complaint at many prisons and in particular where immigrants are held.

Soon, migrant families could be held together for a much longer period of time in the U.S. Last month, officials took steps to terminate a federal court settlement restricting how long U.S. officials can detain migrant children with their parents. The current administration wants to greatly expand the amount of time parents and children can be held.

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