Texas OKs licensing path for immigrant detention centers

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Two of the nation's largest federal immigrant family detention centers can soon apply for residential child care licenses in Texas.

The rule announced Friday by a state agency was temporarily blocked in November by a state judge who said the agency had improperly fast-tracked changes that would create a path for the facilities to get licensed.

The licenses are needed because a federal judge ruled last year that the detention facilities couldn't hold immigrant children without adequate licensing.

Immigration advocates have opposed the plan by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to create a licensing path for the two facilities in South Texas.

Both opened in 2014 in response to the arrival of tens of thousands of immigrant mothers and children.

The rule goes into effect March 1.