Judge blocks immigration detention facility’s childcare licenses

Immigration activists have scored a victory by convincing a Texas judge to prevent one of the biggest immigration detention centers in the United States from being granted a temporary residential childcare license.

The licenses are required because in 2015 a judge ruled that the children would have to be released by the centers if they did not have one. The temporary restraining order was issued on Wednesday by State District Judge Karin Crump to block the issuing of the license to the South Texas Family Residential Center. Situated in Dilley in Texas, the center manages 2400 beds and is privately owned.

Activist group Grassroots Leadership, which is against prisons operating for profit, sought the order, which is effective until May 13, when arguments are set to begin to halt the license permanently.

Grassroots Leadership also wants to see the striking down of the temporary license that was given to the Karnes County Residential Center last week. The Karnes County Residential Center is situated in Karnes City, around 50 miles to the southeast of San Antonio, with 500 beds and is also owned and managed by private operators. Both of the centers opened in 2014 after tens of thousands of undocumented immigrant families and unaccompanied minors crossed the border from Central America.

Grassroots Leadership Executive Director Bob Libal released a statement in which he said that not only are family detention centers not childcare facilities, they are in fact nothing more than prisons.