San Antonio, Texas, Aug 23, 2018 / 13:13 pm
Before being allowed to celebrate Mass for families housed at a migrant detention center in south Texas, a local priest was made to sign a confidentiality agreement promising that he would not divulge any information regarding the conditions inside.
There are 2,400 beds for mothers and children detained in the South Texas Family Residential Center, a privately-run detention facility in Dilley, Texas operated by CoreCivic, which received $135 million in 2017 for their immigration detention government contracts.
Father Ruben Garcia, a parish priest in Dilley, celebrates Mass and hears confessions at the detention center twice a week.
After Trump administration promised last month to reunite separated families detained on immigration-related charges or before asylum hearings, an expansion of family detention centers, where a child is detained with their parent, has been presented as a viable alternative to seperation.
"The Dilley" is the largest family detention center in the U.S. It costs taxpayers $298 per person per day to detain the mothers and children, who are mostly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Many are seeking asylum.