RAICES Is In Need Of Volunteers In San Antonio To Help With Family Detention Releases!

By Published On: December 5, 2016Categories: Blog, Family Based Immigration, Immigration

Mass Releases From Family Detention After Texas Court Blocks Childcare Licenses Of Family Detention Centers

Statement From Refugee & Immigrant Center For Education & Legal Services

Together Let's Be Part Of Helping Families In Immigration Detention Centers

San Antonio, TX —  Over the weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hurriedly released over 460 mothers and children from Karnes and Dilley Family Detention Center to Casa RAICES in San Antonio, Texas. This massive release to our shelter came after an Austin judge sided with Texas advocates and detained families and ruled against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, as well as GEO and CoreCivic, the two private prison companies that operate Karnes and Dilley, by issuing a final judgement which prevented the Texas DFPS from issuing child care licenses to ICE controlled family detention centers.

This judgement came down as RAICES and pro-bono volunteers had been pushing back for weeks on a crayon ban in the visitation area at Karnes Family Detention Center. The issue remains unresolved as the petition to lift the ban has already gained over 1,800 signatures.

The families released over the weekend were in various stages of the legal processes that normally take place in detention, which stands against ICE’s long standing claim that detention is necessary for families to undertake legal processing prior to release. Approximately 25% of families were released without a credible fear interview. The majority of families were released without travel plans, forcing RAICES staff and volunteers to work until 4:00 AM on Saturday night to communicate with families and arrange travel. RAICES has opened additional shelter space at a local church and convent in San Antonio to accommodate the overflow from our shelter.

“We can only hope this is a sign that the Obama Administration is finally deciding to end this failed experiment in family detention, ” said Jonathan Ryan, Executive Director of RAICES. “We call upon the Obama Administration to continue these releases and end family detention, end the detention of asylum seekers, and cut ties with private prison companies.”

RAICES will continue to gladly accept released families from detention at our shelter in San Antonio and plans to continue to mount the pressure on the Obama Administration to end this horrific practice of detaining families in the final weeks of his administration.

RAICES Seeks Volunteers Like You To Help Detained Families In The United States

Austin Immigration Attorneys: If You Are Interested In Volunteering In San Antonio, Please Contact Amy Fischer, Policy Director Of RAICES

RAICES serves immigrants and refugees in our community by providing immigration-related legal services, advocacy and opportunities for educational and social support. We believe that by actively promoting the well-being and informed participation of immigrants and refugees in the community, everyone benefits.

Amy Fischer
Policy Director
Refugee and Immigrant Center
for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
Direct Phone and Fax: (202)769-5929

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as greencards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job. After the pandemic we began offering bankruptcy services in addition to immigration I realized how much lack of information there is in financial literacy resources in Spanish.

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