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Hutto Opposition Continues; Vigil Planned for Saturday

CCA's T. Don Hutto family immigrant detention center continues to draw protests and media scrutiny. On December 7th, the WilCo Family Justice Alliance held a vigil protesting Williamson County's involvement in the ICE contract to detain immigrant families awaiting immigration hearings. According to the Austin-American Statesman ("Vigil opposes renewing Hutto center contract," December 8),

More than 100 Central Texans gathered for a vigil outside the Williamson County Courthouse on Sunday night, asking Williamson County commissioners to end a contract with the T. Don Hutto Residential Center.

County commissioners are to vote in January on extending the contract with the center, a former medium-security state prison in Taylor that holds 385 people, including 92 children, who are awaiting immigration hearings.

Retired pastor Milton Jordan said that closing the center is a moral issue for all the county's residents.

"The practice of incarcerating families and children, with little regards to their civil rights, is destructive ... to our community as a whole," Jordan said.

Protesters held signs that said "Prison is no place for children" and "Shut down T. Don Hutto" while singing the civil rights standard "We Shall Overcome."

They also donated toys, clothing and calling cards to detainees that will be delivered Dec. 20, said Sherry Dana, a member of the WilCo Family Justice Alliance, which organized the vigil with several other groups.

I'll be at a vigil this Saturday, December 20th at the prison itself delivering toys to the immigrant families held inside. Details are below. See our friends at the T. Don Hutto blog for ongoing coverage.

Hutto Toy Delivery and Vigil to End Family Detention
Saturday, December 20th, 3-5pm, T. Don Hutto Detention Center (1001 Welch, Taylor, TX)

Please join Texans United for Families, Grassroots Leadership, WilCo Family Justice Alliance, Border Ambassadors, CodePink Austin and other organizations and individuals from across the state in the third annual December vigil to end family detention, Saturday, December 20th, from 3-5pm. Organizers will deliver more than 500 toys to the facility in time for the holiday season. Toys should be made in the US, in their original packaging, and not on a recall-list to be accepted into the facility. A carpool will leave 2604 E. Cesar Chavez in Austin at 2pm for the Hutto detention center. Contact: Bob at (512) 971-0487 or blibal(at)grassrootsleadership.org

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