Berks Family Residential Center

Laura Benshoff / WHYY

California’s Central District Court ruled last Friday that ICE should release children from the country’s three family detention centers, two in Texas and one in Berks County.

Katie Meyer / WITF

Immigrant families detained in Berks Family Residential Center were asked to sign forms this week that could lead to their children being separated from their parents, according to attorneys representing them.

Eric Gay / AP

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale on Wednesday called on the federal government to stop detaining people at a Berks County immigrant detention center, following his office’s report citing violations of federal law and risks for abuse at the facility.

Manel Balce Ceneta / AP

A Berks County commissioner has decided that after partnering with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain families for decades, it’s time for the county to end the relationship.

Kevin Barnhardt, a Democrat, had previously defended the Berks County Residential Center.

But he said Tuesday, he is now concerned about the direction of federal immigration policy.

The Berks center is one of just three ICE facilities in the country that house detained families. The county runs it via a contract with ICE, and gets around a million dollars in reimbursement annually.

Manel Balce Ceneta / AP

A coalition of activists intent on shutting down the Berks County Residential Center is trying to convince Governor Tom Wolf to take more extreme action on the issue.

All summer, they’ve held regular rallies at the state Capitol in an effort to drive their point home. And at the latest one on Monday they renewed their call for Wolf to issue an Emergency Removal Order.

Berks is one of three facilities operated by the federal government to hold undocumented migrant families. The smallest of the three—and the only one not in Texas—it has a maximum capacity under 100 people.

Bastian Slabbers for WHYY

Frustrated. Angry. Irritated.

That’s how Tim Whitaker is feeling after a brief phone call cancelled his organization’s plans Tuesday to deliver more than a 100 books to children at the Berks Family Residential Center, a federal detention facility for people awaiting decisions on their immigration cases.

Laura Benshoff / WHYY

More than two years after Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas announced the department would not renew its license, the Berks Family Residential Center is still housing dozens of families awaiting decisions about their immigration cases.