LOS ANGELES — A federal judge on Monday ruled that the Obama administration has the authority to close the El Paso Detention Center.
The decision came in the second of several cases that could determine whether federal authorities will continue to detain people in El Pueblo, where the U.S. Border Patrol has a detention facility.
El Paso County Judge Juan M. Baca said in his decision that the Trump administration has not shown that it has a legitimate need for the facility, and the government is free to close it.
The U.N. refugee agency has asked the court to allow it to move detainees from the facility to other detention facilities in the U., but the judge said the Trump government is not bound by the refugee agency’s request.
Baca said the detention facility has failed to meet its obligations and the U,S.
government must do more to meet them.
“In addition to the detention facilities located in the El Puevo section of El Paso County, the El Peñoso section of the El Rio Grande and in the Santa Fe section of Texas, the U of T has an extensive network of detention facilities, including the El Guapo and the El Verano, that are not being utilized,” he wrote in his ruling.
The El Paso court is reviewing a lawsuit brought by the U