'This is retaliation': ICE transfers Cameroonian women asylum-seekers after protest

March 2, 2020

More than 40 Cameroonian women—all of them asylum-seekers—were transferred more than 200 miles away because they protested conditions at the facility where they were being detained.

The T. Don Hutto Residential Center is a detention center in Taylor, Texas, that has been dogged by allegations of human rights abuses, including medical neglect. The facility detains roughly 500 asylum-seeking women. The Austin, Texas-based organization Grassroots Leadership has a visitation program inside Hutto, which gives organizers like Bethany Carson a direct line to women detained at the facility.  

According to Carson, women inside the facility reported to Grassroots Leadership that there are “more than 300 women from Cameroon” detained at Hutto, marking a rapid demographic shift for the facility, which previously primarily detained Central American women. Detained women told Carson that on Feb. 24, a large group of Cameroonian women performed a sit-in in front of Hutto’s medical clinic to protest the conditions in which they are being held, which include prolonged detention and a lack of medical services.