Texans United for Families

Texans United for Families, or TUFF, came together during the fight to end family detention at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center, just north of Austin. TUFF is a grassroots, all-volunteer-driven project of Grassroots Leadership. We support and coordinate TUFF members in their mission to fight back against immigrant detention and deportation close to home. In response to the influx of Central American families and children seeking refuge at the border, the Obama Administration announced the return of family detention in 2014. TUFF is fighting back to end this inhumane practice. Find out more about the consequences of family detention.

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Sep 18, 2014
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San Antonio Business Journal

Human rights group demanding ICE close South Texas detention facility

Immigrant and human rights advocates from throughout the country called on the Obama administration to immediately close a family detention center in Karnes County, Texas, that is housing illegal immigrants from Central America who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.

Grassroots Leadership officials came to their conclusion after touring the living quarters in the detention facility, which they say is deplorable. They also called on U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement to close it and another detention center in Artesia, N.M., that is housing women and children, and cancel separate plans to open a 2,400-bed complex in Dilley, Texas.

“It is clear that the return of mass immigrant family detention has serious and detrimental impacts on immigrant children and their families,” said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership. “The Obama administration should immediately scrap plans for additional family detention beds.” Read more about Human rights group demanding ICE close South Texas detention facility

Oct 9, 2014
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¡Ahora Sí!

Nueva protesta contra los centros de detención

Organizaciones pro derechos de los inmigrantes protestarán el sábado 11 frente al centro de detención de familias inmigrantes ubicado en Karnes City, 50 millas al sureste de San Antonio. “Estamos trabajando con gente en el estado de Texas para reunirnos y mandar un fuerte mensaje al presidente Obama, que regresar a una política de detener a familias es absolutamente inapropiado”, dijo Bob Libal, director ejecutivo de la organización Grassroots Leadership en Austin, uno de los organizadores.

La actividad espera convocar a centenares de personas en las instalaciones, quienes exigirán un alto a lo que los grupos de defensa de los inmigrantes indocumentados califican como una ‘‘política vergonzosa’’, aseguró Libal. El dirigente explicó también que un autobus viajará desde Austin el día de la protesta y que más detalles están en http://bit.ly/10pMQkg. Read more about Nueva protesta contra los centros de detención

Oct 8, 2014
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Democracy Now!

Migrant Women, Children Allege Harsh Conditions, Sexual Assault at For-Profit Texas Immigration Jail

Broadcasting from San Antonio, we look at a new family detention center just south of the city that holds more than 500 immigrant women and their children as they await deportation. The for-profit Karnes County Residential Center is owned by the GEO Group, the second-largest private prison company in the United States. Many women imprisoned at the Karnes facility have accused guards of sexually assaulting them. A federal complaint filed last week says guards are promising the women help with their immigration cases in return for sexual favors. Many of the detainees came to the United States seeking asylum from violence in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. But the Obama administration says it is detaining them in order to discourage more migrants from coming. We hear from one of the facility’s few detainees to be released since a wave of migrants arrived in August, an El Salvador national who came with her 7-year-old daughter, who suffers from brain cancer. We also speak ... Cristina Parker, the immigration projects coordinator for Grassroots Leadership and co-author of their new report, "For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families." Read more about Migrant Women, Children Allege Harsh Conditions, Sexual Assault at For-Profit Texas Immigration Jail

New report details a pattern of violence and abuse at the hands of private prison corporations now profiting off family detention

(AUSTIN, Texas) — A new report details shocking violence, sexual abuse, neglect, filth, and wrongful death in facilities run by the same private prison companies who are poised to make millions of dollars locking up Central American women and children in immigrant family detention centers.

The GEO Group, which operates the Karnes County family detention center in Texas, has accumulated a considerable number of complaints and lawsuits for abuse and neglect and is a particular focus of the report. Most recently, a complaint was filed against the Karnes facility, alleging that GEO guards had been sexually abusing detainees there. That facility has been open less than two months.  And Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has also faced its share of criticism and lawsuits over conditions within its facilities, including when CCA operated the disgraced T. Don Hutto family detention center in Taylor, Texas.

“When you start digging into the track records of these companies, the thing that is most shocking is how consistently they abuse, threaten, and neglect the people entrusted to them,” said Cristina Parker, of Grassroots Leadership and an author of the report. “GEO and CCA fail every single time they are allowed to detain vulnerable people.”

Click here to download the report

Read more about New report details a pattern of violence and abuse at the hands of private prison corporations now profiting off family detention

Oct 1, 2014
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San Antonio Current

Mass Detention of Migrant Women and Children Continues to Expand

The Dilley facility will be owned by the Corrections Corporation of America, the same public-private prison company that operated the T. Don Hutto Residential Center north of Austin. After the American Civil Liberties Union and the University of Texas Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic uncovered cases of abuse and neglect, the government stopped detaining families at Hutto in 2009.

“The [Obama] administration has learned no lessons from what was one of the most shameful parts of the Bush administration’s detention legacy, and the fact that they’ve returned to that policy speaks volumes on where their priorities lie,” Bob Libal, director of Austin-based Grassroots Leadership, said. “I think that this is a giant step backwards, in terms of codifying a practice of locking up asylum-seeking families at for-profit prisons. It’s shameful.” Read more about Mass Detention of Migrant Women and Children Continues to Expand

#TBT To when we cheered the end of family detention in Texas

Today’s #tbt is a throwback to the time we cheered the end of family detention at the T. Don Hutto detention center. When the Obama administration ordered an end to family detention there in 2009 and that no new family detention centers would be built, we thought that this particular fight was over. Unfortunately, we were wrong.  

A letter to the Prime Minister of Canada from a child at Hutto.

 

Read more about #TBT To when we cheered the end of family detention in Texas

Complaints Mount of Inadequate Care and Harsh Conditions for Children and Families in ICE Family Detention Center in Karnes City

(AUSTIN, Texas) — Mothers and children who are asylum seekers detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a for-profit detention center in Karnes City have mounting complaints about their harsh treatment and unduly severe detention conditions. 

Read more about Complaints Mount of Inadequate Care and Harsh Conditions for Children and Families in ICE Family Detention Center in Karnes City

Hump Day Hall of Shame: Correctional Healthcare Management named in lawsuit over baby who was born and then died in solitary confinement.

A woman says a private healthcare provider and the jail it operated in, its staff, and a sheriff denied her reasonable access to care resulting in her giving birth in solitary confinement and losing her baby.

Ignoring history and human rights, Feds confirm plans for massive family detention center to lock up asylum-seeking kids with their parents

(AUSTIN, Texas) — Federal officials today announced plans for the nation’s largest immigrant detention center to detain asylum-seeking children with their parents.  The facility, to be located in the remote south Texas town of Dilley, will be the nation’s largest immigrant detention center at 2,400 beds. Read more about Ignoring history and human rights, Feds confirm plans for massive family detention center to lock up asylum-seeking kids with their parents

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