Feds Unveil Immigration Detention Facility

New facility is southeast of San Antonio

By Will Weissert
|  Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012  |  Updated 11:50 AM CDT
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Feds Unveil Immigration Detention Facility

New detention center to be for low-risk offenders.

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Federal officials are unveiling a new 608-bed detention facility they say represents the Obama administration's pledge to overhaul America's much-maligned system for jailing immigration offenders.

Three years ago, the White House promised to rethink detention policies following 2007 civil-liberties lawsuits filed on behalf of families held at an immigration facility in central Texas that put children behind razor barbed-wire.

The new civil detention center for low-risk detainees and is in Karnes City, 60 miles southeast of San Antonio. Reporters and advocacy groups are touring it Tuesday.

Authorities say it was built with more-humane reforms in mind and will allow detainees greater unescorted movement, and more recreational options and contact with visitors

But activists wonder whether building a new facility is enough. Conservatives, meanwhile, have accused federal officials of coddling law-breakers.

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