South Texas Immigration Detention Centers Are Mostly Empty These Days

The detention centers in Karnes City and Dilley were opened as a response to large numbers of families and unaccompanied minors crossing the border – but those numbers have now dropped dramatically.

By Laura Rice and Rhonda FanningMay 12, 2017 10:15 am, ,

Judges are no longer hearing cases at the family immigration detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas. That’s because, according to officials, the judges didn’t have much to do.

Jason Buch has been covering this story for the San Antonio Express News. He says the reason behind the move is two-fold.

“One is that there are very few people in the detention centers right now,” Buch says. “The number of people being detained at the border has plummeted in the last few months and so there’s hardly anyone in Karnes and Dilley. There’s a few hundred people between the two of them – these two family detention centers – and their total capacity is more than 3,000 combined. But the other thing is, for the last year and a half, there’s been a court ruling that’s required ICE to quickly move families out of the detention centers. They’re not allowed to hold them for great lengths of time.”

Buch says other detention centers across the U.S. are still plenty full of adults awaiting deportation procedures.