The civil detention center for low-risk detainees is in Karnes City, about 60 miles from San Antonio. Officials gave reporters a tour Tuesday.
Among its amenities are 117 pay phones for detainees and free Internet access.
Three years ago, the White House promised to rethink detention policies following 2007 civil-liberties lawsuits filed on behalf of families held at an immigration facility in central Texas.
The new center was built with more-humane reforms in mind, allowing detainees greater unescorted movement, more recreational options and contact with visitors
But activists wonder whether building a new facility is enough.