Texas ruling may allow licensing of migrant family detention

HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas appeals court’s ruling could allow state authorities to formally license two detention centers that house thousands of immigrant families.

The 3rd Texas Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a lower court ruling barring Texas from issuing child-care licenses to the detention facilities in Karnes and Dilley.

The appeals court ruled the organization Grassroots Leadership and a group of now-former detainees did not have the legal standing to challenge the state agencies that sought to license the facilities.

A key court settlement strictly limits the time children can be held in unlicensed facilities.

Grassroots Leadership director Bob Libal says if Wednesday’s ruling is upheld and Dilley and Karnes are licensed, children could be held for months or years in family detention facilities.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded the ruling and says Texas “strives to keep children as safe as possible.”

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