KARNES CITY, Texas - Federal immigration officials say a South Texas detention center will start housing women and their children who enter the United States officials illegally.
The Karnes County Residential Center will start taking in immigrants on Friday after a three-week conversion process from an all-male facility. Officials say it can hold up to 532 people but how quickly it will fill up is unknown.
The center is for families in expedited removal proceedings.
Illegal immigration in South Texas has surged in recent months, especially children travelling alone and parents bringing their children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Lacking enough family detention centers, the government has been releasing so-called "family units" with notices to appear before immigration authorities when they reach their destinations.
The center is 50 miles southeast of San Antonio.