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Judge blocks emergency licensing of detention facilities

A recent news report may be of interest to people in South Carolina. According to sources, a judge in Austin, Texas, blocked a move for emergency licensing rules for two immigrant detention facilities in South Texas. The facilities are attempting to get licensure as child care facilities, and the emergency rules would have fast-tracked their ability to get the licensing.

In August, a federal judge ruled that immigrant detention centers who hold children must get appropriate licenses in order to do so. The facilities in Texas opened after the influx of children and mothers last year, primarily from South and Central America. A similar facility in Pennsylvania had its licensure application denied, which effectively stopped continued detention of children and mothers there.

Immigration activists have called for such rules because of the emotional harm children and mothers have experienced when being detained for as much as one year. The Texas judge indicated she will issue a restraining order preventing the state from issuing the child care facility licenses to the two detention centers so she can have time to consider her ruling. The women and children have been held in detention while waiting for the immigration courts to determine whether they will be deported or allowed to stay in the U.S.

When people are facing deportation proceedings, they have a right to assert a removal defense. Immigrants have due process rights for such hearings. Those who are in this position may want to get help from an immigration and naturalization attorney who can help them assert the defenses to deportation that may be available.

Source: FOX News, "Judge hears arguments over licensing of immigrant detention centers," Nov. 13, 2015.

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