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Hutto In The News

Corrections Corporation of America's controversial T. Don Hutto family detention center has continued to make news both in Texas and around the country.

As Nicole reported last week, a feature story in the New Yorker magazine covered the detention center and the trend in for-profit immigrant detention as a whole. The full story is now available online. Williamson County resident and geographer Peter Dana had an excellent letter following-up on the New Yorker story in the Williamson County Sun last week, which I've attached. Here's a sample:

Surely we don’t really believe that innocent children should be held in detention facilities, internment camps, or prisons, especially if the parents have committed no sin at all, merely applied for asylum. For our County Commissioners to take part in subverting a bidding process for a part of the proceeds is wrong. Let’s have some charity for the children, not for the Corrections Corporation of America, and put an end to this costly, unnecessary, and unjust practice.

Last week, Hutto was mentioned by United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights of Migrant, Jorge Bustamonte, (who, as many readers may remember was denied access to Hutto last spring) who criticized immigrant detention and deportation practices in hearings. Bustamonte said at the hearings last Friday that his trip to Hutto was canceled "without satisfactory explanation."

Hutto also drew criticism from Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) and California Representative Linda Sanchez at House Homeland Security meetings with DHS Director Michael Chertoff. According to the Statesman article:

Sanchez said that children at the facilities had been put in cells alone for hours, awakened in the middle of the night with flashlights in their faces and threatened with being permanently separated from their parents.

And, in local news, an International Women's Day Protest and Peace Walk was held at Hutto this past Saturday and drew a few dozen folks from Terlingua, San Antonio, Austin, and Williamson County. Read the Taylor Daily Press's coverage here.

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