Private prison firm strug­gles to get li­cense for fam­i­lies

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

AUSTIN | A top private prison com­pany is strug­gling to per­suade state law­mak­ers to li­cense its fa­cil­ity to hold im­mi­grant par­ents and their chil­dren to­gether — a prac­tice that the Trump administration re­cently com­mit­ted to

up­hold­ing.

The Karnes Res­i­den­tial Cen­ter opened as a fam­ily de­ten­tion cen­ter in 2014. Then a fed­eral judge ruled that chil­dren held longer than 20 days must be housed in “non-se­cure” fa­cil­i­ties with child-care li­censes.

Af­ter the state granted Karnes a li­cense, ad­vo­cates sued. They said hold­ing chil­dren in de­ten­tion causes psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal harm. A state judge ruled that fam­ily de­ten­tion cen­ters did not qual­ify for li­censes.

Now leg­is­la­tors are con­sid­er­ing easing re­quire­ments for child care fa­cil­i­ties. But op­po­nents say the bill would li­cense the fa­cil­i­ties with­out im­prov­ing con­di­tions, and it could invite a law­suit.

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