Nov 9, 2017
Spectrum News

Letter Details Sexual Assault at T. Don Hutto Residential Center

"The non-profit organization, Grassroots Leadership, received a letter detailing sexual assaults against two women at the T. Don Hutto Residential center.

According to a press release, Laura Monterrosa sent the letter, from inside the center, describing her ongoing sexual assault by a female guard. She also wrote about another woman who was abused by two other guards.

'Speaking out about sexual abuse perpetrated by a guard while still detained takes incredible courage,' said Bethany Carson, immigration researcher and organizer at Grassroots Leadership. 'As ICE has proven incapable of taking reports of abuse seriously, the least the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office can do is immediately launch a just and transparent investigation into reports of sexual abuse by guards at Hutto.'" [node:read-more:link]

What the hell is going on inside the Hutto detention center?

A letter from inside a controversial detention center contains new reports of sexual assault and retaliation against women detained in an immigrant detention center near Austin. The T. Don Hutto detention center, which imprisons asylum-seeking women, has been at the center of sexual assault scandals before.  One former guard was even incarcerated for multiple assaults.

Now, a letter sent by L.M. (the woman’s initials) from inside the Hutto detention center describes her and others’ experiences of sexual assault and retaliation and names two guards as perpetrators. The facility in Taylor, Texas, is operated for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by the private prison company commonly known as Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA, (which prefers to be called by its new corporate identity “CoreCivic” to obscure their three-decades long history). Guards at the facility are employees of the private prison company.

The letter describes a pattern of sexual assault that L.M. has endured since June. She writes that a female guard forced her into sexual acts against her will. “She harassed me, telling me threatening words and forcing me to have unwanted relations with her, which I did not want, but I had to do what she wanted,” she described. “She looked for or took advantage of every moment she could to touch my breasts or my legs, she knew where and when she did it, I don't remember dates because there are many. She worked in the recreation area and what she did with me she did with other residents.” [node:read-more:link]

Welcome our new Hutto Visitation Intern, Victoria Jara!

Victoria comes to Grassroots Leadership with a passion for social, economic, and racial justice. Originally from Miami with family from Peru, she studied Biological Psychology at New College of Florida, where she was the President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) and organized around impacts of the war on drugs. [node:read-more:link]

Oct 29, 2015
Austin American-Statesman

Inmigrantes detenidas en Taylor habrían iniciado huelga de hambre

Al menos 27 inmigrantes detenidas en el centro T. Don Hutto, en Taylor, Texas, habrían empezado una huelga de hambre la noche del miércoles 28, según informó la organización Grassroots Leadership, en un comunicado.

Las internas, todas mujeres procedentes de México y varios países de Centroamérica, hicieron llegar cartas escritas a mano a la organización que apoya causas relacionadas con justicia social, inmigración y activismo ciudadano, en las cuales explican los motivos de su protesta, entre los que destacan mala alimentación y la incertidumbre que les causa estar encerradas de forma indefinida, muchas a la espera de resoluciones en casos de asilo político.

Las internas también exigen su libertad y piden una oportunidad para quedarse de forma legal en los Estados Unidos, pues sus vidas están en riesgo en sus países de origen, según explicaron en los documentos, los cuales fueron publicados en Internet. [node:read-more:link]

Oct 29, 2015

Women at Texas immigration detention center start hunger strike, activists say

At least 27 women in a Texas immigration detention center have started a hunger strike and are demanding their release, an advocacy group in the state said Wednesday.

The women, who are being kept in the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas, refused dinner Wednesday night, according to Texans United for Families.

Detention center officials disputed the report. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Adelina Pruneda said in an email that administrators were not aware of any detainees who had refused dinner at the facility cafeteria. [node:read-more:link]

Oct 30, 2015

27 Women in For-Profit Immigrant Detention Center on Hunger Strike

In Texas, 27 women detained at a for-profit immigrant detention center say they’re on a hunger strike to demand their immediate release. Most of the women are from Central America, which has seen a surge in migrants fleeing violence and abuse. They are held at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, as they apply for asylum. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency denies there is a hunger strike. This comes as another hunger strike by 14 South Asian asylum seekers held at Louisiana’s for-profit LaSalle Detention Center enters its 12th day. [node:read-more:link]

Oct 29, 2015

Sources say 27 women on hunger strike at local immigrant detention center

Sulma Franco reads letters written by one of the 27 women who are now on a hunger strike.

All of them confined to the T. Don Hutto residential center in Taylor.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained the women for coming into the country illegally.

Now, the women who are seeking asylum in the US are demanding ICE let them go.

Sulma Franco says she knows exactly how these women feel.

She spent 4 months at the same detention center about 5 years ago after she came to the US from Guatemala.

Sulma, along with grassroots leadership are urging the public to support the women in their hunger strike. [node:read-more:link]

Oct 29, 2015
ColorLines Magazine

Why 27 Women in Hutto Immigration Detention Center Won't Eat

According to Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based group that advocates for the end of for-profit prisons, at least 27 women at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, are currently on an indefinite hunger strike. The women, who have been dubbed #Hutto27 on social media, have just one demand: immediate release from immigration detention. Grassroots reports that the strike began on Wednesday evening at dinnertime.

According to a petition of support on Grassroots' website, the women are immigrants from Brazil, El Salvador, Europe, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. They are being held in the 512-bed facility at the behest of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is run by private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America.

Grassroots' site is hosting scans of handwritten letters from 18 of the women that detail the conditions inside the center, why they came to the United States and why they want to stay here. They describe stays of more than one year, denied opportunities to post bond, inordinately high commissary prices, poor medical treatment and overall neglect. [node:read-more:link]


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