New ‘Hotel-Like’ Immigration Center is Proposed in Texas

Detention centers for immigrants certainly have a bad rap in Texas, but one company is seeking to improve conditions by proposing a ‘Hotel-like” immigration center.

Federal immigration officials are pressing ahead with plans for the 500-bed family detention center which would house migrant women and children, the Guardian reports.

Opponents are unimpressed with the plan, pointing out a detention center is still a detention center, even if it’s more upscale.

Family immigration center idea is controversial

The Department of Homeland Security is moving ahead and requesting proposals for the facility close to the Mexican border.

The immigration center would be in Dimmit County, just under 50 miles from Mexico. Officials said in June they would consider a bid from a firm that is proposing the new center in a 27-acre former work camp for oil workers. It claims the conditions would be far better than two other family detention centers in Texas.

The family detention centers have proved to be controversial.

What Are Family Immigration Centers?

Texas currently has two family detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City. They have the capacity to hold more than 2,000 women and children who are awaiting immigration rulings.

Earlier this year, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Council submitted a rule to create a child care licensing category at the two family detention centers.

In May, a judge heard a legal challenge and refused to license the facilities as child care centers.

The Austin-based group Grassroots Leadership successfully won a temporary injunction that has stalled the award of a child care facility license to the immigration center in Dilley. The Karnes City center received a temporary license in April.

Our Texas family immigration attorneys remain concerned about the conditions at these facilities and their suitability to house women and children, notwithstanding the comparisons of the proposed new immigration center with a hotel.

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission has highlighted complaints about inadequate medical care, low quality food and allegations of sexual abuse brought by detainees.

Stratton Oilfield Systems claimed its facility would offer a “community-based alternative,” that would allow children to attend schools and access social services in a home-like setting.

Cristina Parker, Immigration Programs Director for Grassroots Leadership, the organization that fought the childcare designations, said she objects to the idea of a detention center for families who have fled violence in their home countries, irrespective of conditions. She said any facility in which families are not free to leave is a prison.

The Obama administration’s ongoing use of family detention centers which house women and children has become one of the most controversial planks of its immigration policy.

If you or a loved one is being housed in a detention center or is facing deportation, it’s important to hire experienced Texas family immigration lawyers. Call us today for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.

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