News » San Antonio News

Under Pressure: ICE To Release Several Women And Children From Karnes Immigrant Jail



A nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to undocumented immigrants says Immigration and Customs and Enforcement has reversed course and will release several mothers and their children who previously been held with removal orders looming over their heads. 

The families were being held at the Karnes County Residential Center and President Barack Obama's administration has been adamant in denying their parole, according to the nonprofit RAICES.

No families from the Dilley or Berks family detention centers have been cleared for release, according to the group.

RAICES Executive Director Jonathan Ryan says the move is political and not reflective of a genuine policy change.

"Instead of changing its entire parole policy for families with prior removals, the Administration is only now releasing families, from Karnes and Karnes only, to avoid added scrutiny from the members of Congress," Ryan says in a press release. "If this was a genuine policy change, we would be seeing families from the Berks and Dilley centers also being released. This action is simply being taken because the families in Karnes have been telling the media what life is really like inside."

The families inside the Karnes facility previously sued the Obama Administration, which resulted in a preliminary injunction stopping the government from using detention as a deterrent to refugees who are seeking asylum, according to RAICES.

“ICE has shown that it is only concerned about its image," Ryan says. "They do not care about the well-being of families, or about respecting their due-process rights.”

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.