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Groups Want Creation Of Family Detention Centers Stopped

Updated: Wednesday, August 6 2014, 07:14 PM CDT

Several groups launched a campaign today to stop the creation of immigrant family detention centers.

"This is something that's been announced in the last month, that the Obama Administration is returning to the practice of detaining immigrant and refugee families in mass," says Bob Libal, the executive director of Grassroots Leadership.

 In 2009, after intense pressure and lawsuits, the Obama administration ended immigrant family detention at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor.

Now, the facility only holds women.

But due to the surge of Central American immigrants crossing the border the Obama administration revived the controversial use of family detention centers.

Libal says, "The way that the system has been working is that people are given notices to appear in immigration court, there's a whole spectrum of alternatives to detention that are far more humane and less costly."

That includes checking in with an immigration officer.

"We think that putting little kids behind prison walls particularly prison walls operated by a for profit prison corporation is absolutely the wrong thing," says Libal.

Pastor Jim Rigby of St. Andrew's Presbyterian says, "It's not a livable condition for a human being, it's like being in a zoo and even they put decorations on it, it's still dehumanizing."

By Lydia Pantazes

Groups Want Creation Of Family Detention Centers Stopped

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