South Texas detention center to house undocumented women and children


POSTED: Friday, August 1, 2014 - 9:08am

UPDATED: Friday, August 1, 2014 - 9:25am

Federal immigration officials say a South Texas detention center will start housing women and their children who enter the United States illegally.

The Karnes County Residential Center will start taking in immigrants on Friday after a three week conversion process from an all male facility.

Officials say it can hold up to 532 people but how quickly it will fill up is unknown. The center is for families in expedited removal proceedings.

Illegal immigration in South Texas has surged in recent months, especially children traveling alone and parents bringing their children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Lacking enough family detention centers, the government has been releasing so called "family units" with notices to appear before immigration authorities when they reach their destinations.

Enrique Lucero, ICE, "This is nothing like you've seen before. We pride ourselves in this location, we think it is absolutely appropriate for adults with children. The majority of the people that will be accommodated here will be coming from the Rio Grande Valley area that are apprehended most likely by the U.S. Border Patrol."

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