Family detention centers sites of mistreatment, lawyers say

Lawyers who provide pro bono services to undocumented immigrants in family detention in Texas recently wrote a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to describe alleged mistreatment. This comes just after a federal judge has ruled it is against a prior settlement to keep children and their mothers in family detention centers. The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association were all signatories to the letter.

The document says there is a “cascade of due process violations and detrimental practices at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, and at the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas,” according to a press release. These include coercing women to accept ankle monitors, intimidating women at the facilities, refusing to translate important documents and giving conflicting information to families.

As immigration reform is increasingly in the public eye as we move toward the 2016 presidential race, family detention is making the news already – and this letter only pushes the issue. The Obama administration is still drafting a response to the ruling that found this type of detention illegal, and may appeal.