- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - 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 to create a path for the facilities to get licensed.

The licenses are needed because a federal judge ruled last year the centers would have to eventually release the immigrant children if they didn’t get licensed.

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

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

The rule goes into effect March 1.

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