Center housing immigrants to operate amid license battle

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 23, 2016 4:20 AM

FILE PHOTO: In this June 26, 2014 file photo, a federal employee walks past cribs inside of the barracks for law enforcement trainees turned into immigrant detention center at the Federal Law Enforcement Center (FLETC) in Artesia, N.M. A family detention center is also located in Berks County. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca, File)

(Leesport) -- A Berks County facility used by the federal government to house asylum-seeking immigrant families will remain open amid a battle over its operating license. 

The state Department of Human Services refused to renew the Berks County Residential Center's license, which expired Sunday.

The agency says the facility was licensed as a child residential center, not as a federal immigration facility. 

Berks County has appealed the ruling. 

Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says immigrant detainees will continue to be housed in the facility in Bern Township while the appeal is pending. 

Activists are demanding the release of about 100 immigrants.

They're calling on state authorities to shut the center down immediately.  

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