t. don hutto
TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — Williamson County will officially cut its ties after Thursday with an immigrant detention center in Taylor.
The county previously had an Intergovernmental Services Agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and private prison company CoreCivic for the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, which houses women detained at the border. In June 2018, the commissioners' court voted 4-1 to end those agreements by Jan. 31, 2019.
Grassroots Leadership, a group advocating for immigrant rights in Austin, hoped that the county's action would mean the facility would close by that date. However, it doesn't appear T. Don Hutto will shut its doors anytime soon. Read more about Williamson County agreement with ICE detention center ends Thursday
An advocacy group for immigrants will hold a rally Thursday outside the Taylor City Council meeting Thursday to demand answers for why the T. Don Hutto Residential Center is still open after many reports of abuse, said one of the event’s organizers. The center is located in Taylor and holds detained immigrant women.
The Williamson County Commissioners Court ended their intergovernmental service agreement with the center at the end of January. CoreCivic owns and operates the center. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement filed a short-term contract extension with CoreCivic for the T. Don Hutto Residential Center to remain open beyond Jan. 31, according to a statement from Adelina Pruneda, a spokeswoman for ICE, which declined further comment. Read more about Advocacy group to hold rally in Taylor against immigrant detention facility
WHAT: Rally and public testimony
WHO: Community members and formerly detained women
WHEN: Thursday, February 14th; 5:30pm
WHERE: Taylor City Council, 400 Porter Street Taylor, TX 76574
AUSTIN — Community members are demanding answers after a notorious detention center in Williamson County appears to be staying open following the end of its contract with the county. Read more about Williamson County pulled out of contract with T. Don Hutto detention center, so why are the doors still open?
AUSTIN — Saturday more than 80 community members from Austin, San Antonio, Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley caravanned to the Laredo Processing Center for a rally to call for the freedom of detained mom, Melvin Griselda Cruz-Lopez. They called on ICE to release her immediately and protested endemic abuse at the for-profit immigration prison operated by CoreCivic, where immigrants are sent in retaliation for speaking up for their rights. Read more about Immigrant advocates from across Texas joined caravan to Laredo Saturday to demand freedom for detained mom, Griselda
AUSTIN — Thursday evening, ICE officials at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas told Melvin Griselda Cruz-Lopez that there had been no appeal filed in her case and she must sign her own deportation. They stated she would go crazy spending six more months there, like the other women do, when she refused. Read more about ICE Retaliates Against Detained Mother for Fighting to be Reunited With Her Daughter
WHAT: Testimony to County Commissioners and March
WHO: Faith leaders, community members, and advocates
WHEN: Tuesday, June 26 at 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
WHERE: Williamson County Commissioners Court, 710 S Main St, Georgetown, TX 78626 Read more about Faith leaders, community to hold “Jericho March” to call on Williamson County Commissioners to shut down T. Don Hutto
AUSTIN — A letter received by advocates at Grassroots Leadership last week from inside the Hutto immigrant detention center describes sexual assaults against two women at the T. Don Hutto immigrant detention center in Taylor, Texas and names two different guards as perpetrators. Laura Monterrosa describes a pattern of sexual assault at Hutto that she has endured since June. Read more about Courageous woman, Laura Monterrosa, speaks out on sexual assaults at Hutto immigrant detention center
A detainee participating in the weeks-long hunger strike at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, confirmed women are being transferred to other detention centers as punishment for participating in the strike, according to audio released Wednesday by Grassroots Leadership, an organization that forms part of a larger umbrella group known as Texans United for Families (TUFF).
The woman in the audio clip said detainees are being told the transfers are happening because new women are arriving and the beds are needed, “but it has to be because of the hunger strike … because there are women who’ve been here over a year.”
“ICE can deny the hunger strike is happening and that these transfers are coincidental, but what that guard said is acknowledgement that this is punishment and retaliation for participating in the hunger strike,” Parker said. “In the face of all of this, the women want to continue resisting.” Read more about At Hutto Detention Center, the Women on Strike ‘Want to Continue Resisting’
Last week, 27 immigrant women detained at the for-profit T. Don Hutto facility in Austin began refusing meals, demanding an end to mistreatment and their immediate release. Most are asylum seekers from Central America, which has seen a surge in migrants fleeing violence and abuse. The detainees said they’ve faced threats and unjustified surveillance as they languish in custody without hope of freedom. Immigration officials have denied the hunger strike is even taking place. While exact figures are unknown, advocates say the hunger strike grew this week substantially, possibly into the hundreds. Hutto is run by the country’s largest private prison firm, Corrections Corporation of America. The hunger strike is the latest by immigrant detainees around the country, following three others in the past month. "Women are fleeing Central America and Mexico because they are in danger," says Cristina Parker, immigration projects coordinator for Grassroots Leadership. "We respond by putting them in a prison for profit that cuts corners, that serves bad food, that neglects people’s medical care and needs. This is the system that these women are exposing, and they’re doing so, so bravely." Read more about Locked Up & Neglected After Fleeing Danger, Immigrant Women Detainees Launch Hunger Strike in Texas