Family Detention

In 2009, Grassroots Leadership ran a successful campaign to end family detention at the Hutto Detention Center in Taylor Texas. When the Obama administration announced that it would stop detaining families at Hutto, only 100 family detention beds remained at a small facility in Pennsylvania. However, after the wave of Central American families and children seeking refuge at our border in the summer of 2014, the administration reversed its decision, opening facilities at Artesia, New Mexico; Karnes, Texas, and Dilley, Texas - all run by private prison corporations. While Artesia closed at the end of last year, the number of family detention beds has skyrocketed and is expected to reach over 3,000 by this May. Grassroots Leadership is once again working to end the inhumane policy of family detention.

Facts About Family Detention

Find out more about what family detention is, what the conditions are like, who opposes it, and more on our regularly-updated resource page: Facts about Family Detention

 

Related Posts

May 2, 2015
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my San Antonio

Hundreds protest Obama's immigration policy in South Texas

Hundreds of people began arriving in Dilley on Saturday to protest the Obama administration's policy of detaining immigrant families.

Buses from throughout Texas gradually delivered protestors to this community 75 miles south of San Antonio, where the American government in recent months opened a large camp to hold immigrant women and their children as they navigate the immigration processing system.

More than 500 protestors were to march from a park in downtown Dilley 2 miles to the Dilley Family Residential Center, a detention center operated for the Homeland Security Department and which can hold up to 2000 people. Read more about Hundreds protest Obama's immigration policy in South Texas

Apr 19, 2015
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RawStory

Asylum-seeking mothers launch hunger strike over inhumane conditions at Texas detention center

"According to a new report from the Grassroots Leadership, private for-profit prison corporations spent $11 million over six years to lobby Congress to keep a mandatory immigrant detention quota.

Today, 9 out of the 10 largest immigrant detention centers are private, with 8 owned by only two corporations, the GED Group and CCA. Since the end of 2007, the GEO Group has increased their profits by 244% and CCA by 46%." Read more about Asylum-seeking mothers launch hunger strike over inhumane conditions at Texas detention center

Apr 16, 2015
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Think Progress

Millions Spent Lobbying By Private Prison Corporations To Keep A Quota Of Arrested Immigrants, Report Says

"Private prison corporations spent $11 million over six years to lobby Congress to keep immigrants in detention centers, a new report released Wednesday found. The Grassroots Leadership report, Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, found that lobbying efforts of the two largest private prison corporations have made them the main beneficiaries of aggressive immigration detention policies. For-profit family detention centers have come under scrutiny in recent times as migrant women renewed a hunger strike this week in Texas, demanding that they be released on bond with their children." Read more about Millions Spent Lobbying By Private Prison Corporations To Keep A Quota Of Arrested Immigrants, Report Says

May 2, 2015
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ABC KSAT - TV

Hundreds call for release of detainees at immigrant detention center

DILLEY, Texas - Hundreds of protesters rallied Saturday for the release of detainees being held at an immigrant detention center in Dilley.

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Protesters from across the state converged on Dilley City Hall before marching to the detention center.

Organizers at Grassroots Leadership said the protest was being held to "call for an end to the Obama administration’s inhumane, and illegal policy of locking up refugee parents and children."

Solidarity protests were held Saturday at family detention centers in Pennsylvania and Colorado, as well as the White House. Read more about Hundreds call for release of detainees at immigrant detention center

Apr 16, 2015
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The Dallas Observer

Arresting Illegal Immigrants in Texas Is Making Private Prisons Companies Rich

"No detention center has bigger plans for illegal immigrants than the South Texas Family Center in Dilley. The center is run by the for-profit Corrections Corporation of America and is under expansion. By May 2015, the facility will be able to hold 2,400 people. 'If this expansion proceeds, Dilley will be the largest immigrant detention center in the U.S.,' says a new report about the troubling role that private prison companies play in U.S. immigration policy. The report was published by Grassroots Leadership, an advocacy group that is critical of the industry.

Using government and financial records and news articles, the Grassroots report details how two companies -- Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group -- have benefited from locking up illegal immigrants, and how the South Texas border surge in arrests has been especially profitable to the CCA and GEO Group. Texas has 7,602 private beds for the immigrant detainees, Grassroots Leadership found, a figure that represents 39 percent of all private prison beds in the whole country." Read more about Arresting Illegal Immigrants in Texas Is Making Private Prisons Companies Rich

May 2, 2015
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The Texas Tribune

Protesters Want Family Detention Center Shut Down

DILLEY, Texas — On the side of a dusty highway about 70 miles southwest of San Antonio, more than 500 protesters gathered Saturday afternoon in front of the largest immigration detention center in the United States and chanted "shut it down" as facility guards watched from the other side of a barbed wire fence.

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The detention center in Dilley, a South Texas town of about 3,600 people, was built in December 2014 to host up to 2,400 undocumented women and children who are seeking asylum. Protesters from all over the country — as far as California and New York — trekked to Dilley on Saturday to call for an end to family detention.

"Many of them are escaping from violence and torture, from abuse at the hands of gangs," said Sofia Casini, a detention visitation coordinator at Grassroots Leadership, an organization that helped orchestrate the protest. "To be put inside of centers with armed guards, where the kids are yelled at, it's all a re-traumatization process."

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The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley — a euphemism, the protesters say, for a low-security prison — is one of two family detainment facilities in Texas, and the largest in the U.S.

"There's one issue with calling them residential facilities: They're locked up. They can't leave," said Bethany Carson, immigration policy researcher and organizer for Grassroots Leadership.

  Read more about Protesters Want Family Detention Center Shut Down

May 2, 2015
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The San Antonio Express News

Hundreds protest Obama's immigration policy in South Texas

More than 500 protestors were to march from a park in downtown Dilley 2 miles to the Dilley Family Residential Center, a detention center operated for the Homeland Security Department and which can hold up to 2000 people.

Guards affiliated with the detention center kept a watchful eye Saturday morning at the facility as a sea of people nearly 2 miles away holding signs of many colors called for an end to the jailing of immigrant families, and deportations. Read more about Hundreds protest Obama's immigration policy in South Texas

Apr 17, 2015
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Austin Chronicle

Detainees Strike for Freedom

"Advocates have trained their sights on a similar, newly opened facility in Dilley – 150 miles south, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Austin. By next month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforce­ment will have capacity to hold up to 2,400 at what will be the nation's largest immigrant detention center. Opened in late December, Dilley is operated by Corrections Corporation of America, while the Karnes site is run by the Geo Group Inc., both for-profit companies contracted by government agencies. Some opponents question the logic of spending money to incarcerate immigrants rather than helping them integrate into the community; according to Reuters, the cost to run the Dilley site is $296 per person per day.

'It's incredibly profitable for these corporations,'said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership. 'I'd argue these are the only people these facilities are good for. It's very detrimental to the well-being and health of the kids and moms detained and enormously expensive for taxpayers to be footing the bill of about $300 a day to detain those individuals.' Locally, Grass­roots Leadership and St. Andrew's Pres­by­terian Church will each charter two buses to take protesters to Dilley on May 2, calling for closure of such facilities. They'll be met by other buses from San Antonio, the Valley, Houston, and elsewhere." Read more about Detainees Strike for Freedom

Massive Protest Demands Release of Mothers and Children Incarcerated at Dilley, Karnes, and Berks

(DILLEY, Texas) — On May 2, more than 500 people from across Texas and the nation will converge on the family detention camp in Dilley, Texas to call for an end to the Obama Administration’s inhumane and illegal policy of locking up refugee parents and children. These families are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries only to face indefinite imprisonment in the U.S.

 

When: 11-11:30 a.m. - Marchers being to arrive at the park on Commerce Street in Dilley Read more about Massive Protest Demands Release of Mothers and Children Incarcerated at Dilley, Karnes, and Berks

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