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Advocates call for closure of private detention centers

Texas immigration advocates (including my organization, Grassroots Leadership) ha

ve joined a national effort to "Expose and Close" some of the nation's worst immigrant detention facilities.  As part of that effort, two private detention centers in Texas - the Community Education Center's Polk County Detention Center and Corrections Corporation of America's Houston Processing Center - have come under fire for a range of human rights violations.  From the organization's press release:

"Today, two Texas organizations released reports detailing inhumane conditions at two privately operated immigrant detention centers in Texas. Texas has more immigrant detention beds than any other state. President Obama made promises to reform the immigration detention system in 2009, however, the reality on the ground has not changed. Immigrants in detention continue to be denied basic needs, such as contact with lawyers and loved ones, inadequate food and hygiene, and access to fresh air and sunlight. They continue to receive inadequate medical care and endure racial slurs and discriminatory treatment by prison staff.

The reports – detailing conditions at the Houston Processing Center and Polk County Secure Adult Detention Facility in Livingston – are part of a national Expose and Close Campaign to highlight conditions at ten of the nation’s worst immigrant detention facilities that exemplify the egregious problems inherent throughout the system. The Campaign is calling for immediate closure of these facilities.  The reports are available online here.

“At the Polk County facility, we witnessed horrific conditions,” said Texans United for Families member Sam Vong. “ICE must shut down this facility as a first step towards reducing its detained population.”"

The organizations are planning a vigil at the Polk County facility on December 8th.   More information on that protest is at Grassroots Leadership's website.  

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