Despite county's end to working relationship with T. Don Hutto site, federal immigration officials now seek contractors to keep it running.
AUSTIN, TX — Federal immigration officials have solicited information from potential contractors in a seeming attempt to keep a Williamson County detention center for immigrant women operational even after a recent community rebuke of the facility, an advocacy group said Monday.
In a press advisory, Austin-based Grassroots Leadership reported that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has issued a so-called Request for Information for a 500-bed detention facility centered on the existing T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas. An RFI is something of a precursor to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for contractors to submit bids in running a site.
The detected RFI is being seen as an attempt by ICE to keep the facility running even after Williamson County Commissioners Court members on June 26 opted to end an intergovernmental contract with the facility by the end of January 2019. That action ends a years-long relationship the county has had with ICE in allowing the facility to operate in the region that proved lucrative to local coffers. The site's owner/operator, CoreCivic, pays Williamson County some $8,000 each month for costs related to the county's liaison role as it relates to the detention site.