In recent years, thousands of Central American mothers and their children have crossed the southern border in Texas seeking an escape from the growing dual threats of gang violence and extreme poverty. Many of these families have sought asylum or another type of legal status that would allow them to remain in the United States. In response, immigration officials opened additional family detention centers that would enable these families to live together as they await their asylum hearings. While some family detention centers are government facilities, private prison companies operate other family detention centers. Immigration advocates have criticized family detention centers for the years for a lack of adequate health care and poor living conditions for an extended amount of time. Furor arose recently over a so-called “crayon ban” in the visitor’s area at one of the family detention facility. Pursuant to a related lawsuit concerning emergency child care licensing for family detention centers, a federal judge ruled last year that immigrant children may only be detained in licensed facilities receiving regular supervision by an independent child welfare agency. Ultimately, however, state officials found multiple problems at the family detention facilities that posed a threat to children’s safety, including families being held in prison-like conditions and inappropriate contact between unrelated adult and child detainees forced to share rooms. As a result, the judge ruled that granting child care licenses to family detention facilities is not permissible under the objectives of the Texas Human Resources Code. Just following the ruling, ICE abruptly released about 460 mothers and their children from two south Texas family detention centers, with rumors of more detainees to be released the following week. Immigrants groups struggled to house the large groups of families while they waited for family members to pick them up or help them travel to another location. According to one detention center, however, the releases were in the normal course of business and not in response to the court ruling. Historically, detention centers have released only a few individuals at a time. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is a law firm composed of skilled California immigration attorneys who focus their practice exclusively on defending individuals in deportation cases. We realize just how stressful and emotional deportation proceedings can be for you and your entire family. The uncertainty of a potential deportation can drag on for months and even years as you continue to build a life in America without any assurances that you will be able to stay in the country. As seasoned deportation defense lawyers, we know what it takes to successfully defend against deportation in a wide variety of situations and how to develop the best strategy in your defense case. Call us today and learn how we can advocate on your behalf and work toward avoiding deportation altogether.