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The Status of Family Detention in Dilley, Texas and Karnes City


The Status of Family Detention in Dilley, Texas and Karnes City

A District Court Judge in California issued a ruling recently attacking the Obama administration’s family detention policy, arguing that the policy violates parts of an eighteen-year-old court settlement regarding the detention of immigrant children. The ruling is just tentative at this point, and was issued by the judge along with an order that the two sides negotiate a settlement.

Judge Gee, who issued the proposed ruling, asserts that children and mothers in family detention cannot be held in unlicensed secure facilities like those that currently exist in Karnes City and Dilley, Texas. The ruling also states that it is inappropriate to hold a child and his or her accompanying parent in detention unless there is a flight or safety risk. Most of the families in these detention facilities are being held without bond. The speed at which judges are hearing cases in these facilities also impedes access to attorneys.

Hopefully this ruling will take effect, or both sides can negotiate a settlement before the order becomes final. At the very least, this is an important step in drawing attention to the inhumane conditions that exist at these facilities and the recurrent due process violations.

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