Williamson County commissioners decided to end their Intergovernmental Services Agreement (IGSA) with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its operations at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center.
The federal detention center in Taylor, which opened in 2006, only houses women detained by ICE. Activists from Grassroots Leadership said the facility has about 500 women being held there right now, and approximately 40 of the detainees are mothers recently separated from their children.
Claudia Munoz, who works as the immigration programs director for Grassroots Leadership, said the commissioners' decision came as a pleasant surprise, but she said there is much more work to do.
"We know that this doesn't mean [the women] get released right away, so we will have to fight for that," Munoz said. "We have six months to make sure that these women are not just transferred to another detention center."
Munoz and her group organized a rally and march Tuesday morning ahead of the county's vote, where dozens of people held signs calling for the closure of the facility.