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Activists Hold Father's Day Vigil Outside Polk County Detention Center

On Satuday, seventy community members from Austin and Houston rallied outside the IAH Secure Adult Detention Center in Polk County to advocate for an end to immigrant detention.  Run by Community Education Centers, the Polk County Detention Center was highlighted as one of the ten worst in the nation by Detention Watch Network's Expose and Close campaign and has been the subject of an ongoing campaign by Grassroots Leadership and Texans United for Families.  The vigil was the second of its kind, following a similar action in December.

Reporters from Telemundo HoustonUnivisionDaily TexanKUT Newsla Voz de Houston, and the Texas Observer interviewed allies and detained men's family members who joined the protest.  Maria Cecilia Ovalle, mother of two young children and the wife of a man detained at the Joe Corley Detention Center, described the emotional and financial trauma of their separation.  Representative Lloyd Doggett sent a statement saying

I commend you for your efforts in highlighting the mistreatment in some detention centers and support you in your campaign to expose the truth and bring justice to this situation.

Chanting "Close Polk now" and "Si se puede," the activists pledged to continue the campaign until the facility is closed.