- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

KARNES CITY, Texas (AP) - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is converting a South Texas detention center for male immigrants to instead house women who entered the United State illegally with their children.

In a statement Friday, ICE said it had modified its contract for the Karnes County Civil Detention Center in Karnes City to begin holding families in expedited removal proceedings. They are expected to begin arriving in several weeks.

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 family detention centers, the government has been releasing so-called “family units” with notices to appear before immigration authorities when they arrive at their destinations.

Karnes City is about 50 miles southeast of San Antonio.