WASHINGTON, DC -- The Obama administration will use a Karnes City, Texas detention facility to hold adults with children who have been arriving on the border over several months, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday.
The agency said the facility was changed from an immigration detention facility for adults to one that could house adults with children. In addition to more than 57,000 unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico crossing the U.S. border since Oct. 1, about 55,000 families with children also have shown up, many turning themselves in to Border Patrol in hopes of a chance to plea for asylum.
"We have reiterated that our borders are not open to illegal migration, if you come here illegally, and don't have a legal basis to stay under our laws, we will send you back," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.
In 2009, the administration shut down a Texas family immigration detention center after problems were exposed. Immigration officials said they ensure facilities have classrooms and an open environment.