Williamson County Commissioners voted 4-1 today to end its contract with ICE through CoreCivic to run the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor. Under the approved terms, the contract, established in 2010, will now expire by Jan. 31, 2019.
Prior to the vote, Grassroots Leadership – at the forefront of efforts to encourage the court to end the contract – led a “Jericho” protest and march, borrowing Biblical inspiration to “tear down the walls” of the detention center. The nonprofit’s Sofia Casini reminded commissioners that they could end the contract even sooner, within 90 days as opposed to the six months they approved, and that doing so would shift “moral and legal liability” from the court. The extra time also gives the feds a wide cushion to find another government funding avenue.
“This detention center is not needed in any form. It does not need to exist,” said Casini. “They have friends and family that want them and can take them in. … Please shut it down.”