'Baby Prisons?' Immigrant Rights Groups Call for End to Family Detention

The San Antonio based immigrant rights group RAICES' is calling on the Trump Adminsitration to end the detention of infants and toddlers in the 'Karnes County Detention Center southeast of San Antonio, saying at least nine infants, including a five month old, is locked up in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Erika Andiola with RAICES says prison is never appropriate for children, let anone five month olds.

"They're not having the right medical attention, the children don't really know why they are in there, they are showign a lot of stress as well as other medical problems," she told News Radio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.

She says at least two dozen very young children have been held at the detention facility in the last five months.

"The government is paying with out taxes to keep what are basically baby prisons open," she said.

RAICES says young children are also being held at the Dilley Detenction Center southwest of San Antonio.

"There is ample evidence that children cannot adequately develop when detained at such a young age," RAICES said. "Medical experts have condemned the practice. Congress Members have, for years, called for an end to family detention. Whistleblowers have even come forward, citing the “high risk of harm” to

children held in detention."

The group says holding babies and toddlers in prison is 'completely unconscionable' and says 'family detention' should come to an end.

Immigrant rights advocates want family groups to be released on GPS monitoring or other procedures to await an immigration or anylum hearing, instead of being incarcerated.

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