t don Hutto

Feb 14, 2019
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In These Times

Texas Activists Thought They’d Kicked ICE Out of Their County. Then a Secret Deal Happened.

Last June, activists in suburban Williamson County, Texas, had reason to celebrate. County commissioners had voted to terminate a contract with ICE for the privately-run T. Don Hutto Detention Center, a CoreCivic-run women’s facility for asylum seekers that has long been accused of rampant abuse. While there was no guarantee that the facility would close, it felt like county officials were finally listening to local residents and former detainees, and signaling an end to detention-for-profit practices in their community.

But Hutto remains open, thanks to a quiet agreement between ICE and CoreCivic. The county, and the city of Taylor where the detention center resides, have been indifferent while detainees continue to be locked up. And activists are appalled.

“We’ve been fighting for a long time, and we thought we were finally going to shut the place down after a decade,” says Bethany Carson, immigration policy researcher and organizer with the Austin-based organization Grassroots Leadership, which has led efforts to close Hutto. A planned rally on Thursday at the Taylor City Council presents the next stage in this seemingly endless battle. Read more about Texas Activists Thought They’d Kicked ICE Out of Their County. Then a Secret Deal Happened.

BREAKING: Laura Monterrosa released from immigrant detention center in Texas

Community members line up to visit Laura Monterrosa at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas, on February 14, 2018.

AUSTIN — Laura Monterrosa was released from detention Friday evening.  Her release is the result of a months long campaign that drew support from around the country.

“Despite facing retaliation inside, including solitary confinement, Laura showed incredible courage in speaking out to tell her story,” said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership.  “This is a huge victory for Laura, for all the women who have organized and spoken out, and for the community that came to their support.” Read more about BREAKING: Laura Monterrosa released from immigrant detention center in Texas

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