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Judge hears arguments over licensing of detention centers

16 Nov

AUSTIN, Texas — A judge will continue blocking bids by two South Texas immigrant family detention facilities for state licensure as residential child care centers.

State District Judge Karin Crump’s decision came Thursday after a hearing in Austin on emergency rules created by Texas health officials. Those rules aim to fast-track licensing of the facilities. She said she plans to reissue a restraining order blocking licensing from proceeding while she considers the case.

An immigrant rights group has argued that the emergency rules were unnecessary and blocked public comment.

State licenses are needed because a federal judge ruled in August that the detention facilities couldn’t hold immigrant children without adequate licensing. The two detention centers opened last year in response to tens of thousands of mothers and children arriving from Central America.