ICE Says It Totally Planned To Release Hundreds Of Immigrant Mothers And Children From Detention

McClatchy / ICE

Last weekend, nearly 500 asylum-seeking women and children in Texas were released from the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City and the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley.

Busloads of detainees were then dropped off in San Antonio, where, according to the Sacramento Bee, several of the detainees took shelter in the San Antonio Mennonite Fellowship church.

The release of detainees comes after a federal judge in Austin ruled on Friday that the licensing for the two facilities “runs counter to the general objectives of the Texas Human Resources Code and is, therefore, invalid.”

The two facilities, which were the only two immigration detention centers in Texas licensed to hold children, were essentially stripped of their license.

ICE claims that the move, which surprised many, was actually planned and has nothing to do with the court’s ruling.

Here is some brief footage released by ICE featuring the Karnes County Residential Center:

Credit: McClatchyDC / YouTube

According to RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services), a nonprofit agency in San Antonio that assists members of the immigrant community, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) started sending over buses filled with over 460 women and children predominantly from Central America.

RAICES normally receives a caseload of about three families a day, whom they feed and help with transportation, housing, securing legal counsel and any other needs that may arise. Understandably, the organization was not prepared to accommodate so many people at once. Local churches including the San Antonio Mennonite Fellowship have stepped up to help.

Since no clear or official explanation has been given as to why so many mothers and children were released all at once, RAICES director Jonathan Ryan said in a press release,

We can only hope this is a sign that the Obama Administration is finally deciding to end this failed experiment in family detention. We call upon the Obama Administration to continue these releases and end family detention, end the detention of asylum seekers, and cut ties with private prison companies.

Learn more about the mothers and children released from the Texas detention centers here.

If you would like to help RAICES support the mothers and children of the Karnes and Dilley detention centers, you can make a donation here.

WATCH: After 22 Years, This Mexican Immigrant Dad Finally Saw His Parents

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Her Story Went Viral After Giving A Convicted Felon A Two-Hour Job When He Was Just Asking For Food

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Her Story Went Viral After Giving A Convicted Felon A Two-Hour Job When He Was Just Asking For Food

Cesia Abigail / Facebook

He wanted a couple of bucks, she gave him a job.

Cesia Abigail Baires is doing more than just serving up Central American food in her Minneapolis, Minn., diner. The owner of Abi’s Café, a Salvadoran café in the Midwest city, is making sure that she pays it back to the community. It all started when Marcus, a homeless man, walked into her café and asked for money. Rather than give him money, Baires offered Marcus a job to help since she was understaffed. Before Marcus took the job, he opened up about his felony past and Baires gave Marcus a meal. Baires took a photo of Marcus two weeks later and still working at the café and posted it to Facebook where it went viral.

“He told me about his situation. He said he got felonies, and nobody wants to hire him. Especially around this area if you look homeless they won’t even let you in,” Baires told ABC News. “To me that’s unacceptable.”

This is the Facebook post that Baires shared that has since gone viral.

He came in to the cafe one day asking me for some $$. I looked at him and asked him “why don’t you have a job, you know…

Posted by Cesia Abigail on Friday, March 25, 2016

“His eyes opened wide and his smile made my day!!!! He said ‘I’ll do anything for some food,'” Baires wrote about the day she offered Marcus a job. “So now for almost 2 weeks he been on time for his two-hour shift: helping take trash [out], washing dishes etc. Once I pay him guess what he does? He buys food from my restaurant (HE DECIDES TO PAY) because it makes him feel good!”

She continued by writing, “God gave me this blessing so why can’t I bless others? ? This is what should break the internet. We want change? Well, start by making one  team.”

Baires has received an outpouring of support since her story of compassion was shared on Facebook.

Cesia Abigail / Facebook
CREDIT: Cesia Abigail / Facebook

“He has been a blessing for me,” Baires told ABC News. “I don’t see it as me being a blessing to him. I see it as me being blessed, so I can bless him, so he can bless me.”

Even the New York Giants have shown in Minneapolis café owner some love.

Cesia Abigail / Facebook
CREDIT: Cesia Abigail / Facebook

“Just like Marcus, I had my help,” Abigail told CBS News. “I had plenty of people to help make it to where I am today. They believed I could do it. People need to have someone believe in them.”

READ: A Pizza Shop in Mexico is Feeding and Motivating the Homeless in the Simplest Way

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