Private prison firm struggles to get license for families
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
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.