California residents may have heard about the immigrant families that have been held at the three family immigration detention facilities in Pennsylvania and Texas. For months, immigration attorneys and advocates have urged the Obama administration to release mothers and children from the facilities and end the practice of family detention altogether. On July 13, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that ICE would start releasing women and children from the detention centers after reviewing their cases.
According to the ICE spokesman, the agency will have a new policy of refraining from detaining mothers with children who are seeking asylum in the United States. ICE said that it would still detain mothers with children if they presented a threat to public safety or national security. To avoid detention, mothers would also have to show that they have a credible case for asylum and a verifiable address.