Following a Protest, ICE Transfers Dozens of Asylum Seekers to an Isolated Laredo Facility

March 2, 2020
Texas Observer

In retaliation for protesting poor medical treatment, dozens of women detained at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, which houses asylum seekers, were suddenly transferred to a facility in Laredo last week. The move follows reports from immigration advocacy group Grassroots Leadership that those involved in the protest were barred from having visitors, including legal aid providers and members of the community. 

In a statement, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that 80 detainees held an “impromptu ‘sit-down’ protest” last Monday. “The detainees told facility staff they would continue their protest until they were released from custody; however, those actions compromised security protocols at the facility and blocked access to services including visitation, court, and the dining area,” an ICE spokesperson said. 

According to ICE, facility staff told detainees that they may be transferred if they did not comply with requests to clear “critical pathways.” The agency confirmed that 47 women were ultimately moved to the Laredo Detention Center.