Deal Reached in Immigrant Kids Lawsuit

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DALLAS (AP) - Attorneys who sued the federal government claiming illegal immigrant children were wrongfully held with their families in prison-like conditions have reached a proposed settlement that would make several changes at a former Texas prison.

The deal was announced Monday as a trial in the lawsuit was set to open in Austin.

As part of the agreement, a full-time pediatrician would be added to the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Facility in Taylor, northeast of Austin. Also, a counting system that required families to be in their cells 12 hours a day would be eliminated. Privacy curtains would be installed around toilets.

The lawsuit sought the release of the immigrants and improved conditions at Hutto, where families live in cells with bunk beds and a toilet. Attorneys contended that conditions at Hutto violated an agreement that called for immigration authorities to house children in nonsecure, licensed programs such as shelters or foster homes.