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ICE to resume detaining migrant families at Texas facility

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Migrants wait at the Mexico-United States border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico on September 12, 2019. (AFP photo)

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is set to resume detaining migrant families at a facility near San Antonio, Texas.

The facility is the same place where ICE had previously stopped holding families for being unable to transport migrants there due to a high influx of families at the border.

The agency said in a statement to The Washington Post on Saturday that it would change the Karnes County Residential Center “back to a family residential center in the near future.”

According to ICE spokesman Richard Rocha, about 700 adult women were kept in the facility most recently, but its intake has been halted. Now, detainees will be transferred elsewhere, Rocha said.

The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) said in a tweet Friday that detainees have complained about the medical care there.

"ICE is about to transfer women from Karnes Detention Center to Louisiana & other detention centers across the country to make room for family detention," the group wrote. "Over the last few weeks women have been complaining about the inhumane medical care at this facility."

Caravans of migrants from Central American countries have been traveling for months through various routes ending up in Mexico to reach the country’s border with the US, where they seek to apply for asylum and settle down.

However, the administration of President Donald Trump has been blocking them at the border with Mexico. Washington has also been separating migrant families or deporting those who have successfully crossed back to their home countries, where they face violence or economic difficulties.

Rights groups have condemned those practices. Amnesty International condemned the Trump administration policy in January as “disgraceful, mean-spirited and unlawful.”

The Republican president has vowed to crack down on immigration but has failed to get his complete agenda through so far.

In April, Trump asked the Democrats to work with Republicans to address the US "immigration crisis".

He blames the Democrats for what he describes as a broken system.

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