Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The Hutto Immigrant Detention Facility
The other day, my friend Deneice showed me a cool documentary she made for her broadcasting class at school, about the Hutto Immigrant Detention Facility, 45 miles north of Austin. For those that don't know, it's basically a holding facility for undocumented immigrants that are picked up until something can be done with them. It's run by the Corrections Corporation of America, a for-profit adult corrections company.
The problem with this place, primarily, is that they hold children there. Entire families are crammed into retrofitted cells (the whole building used to be a medium-security prison), and are locked in. The children are allowed to go play for a little bit each day, but only in a small playground surrounded by razor wire and armed guards. They are disciplined by guards who threaten to separate them from their parents. Pregnant women are also held, with little to no prenatal care.
A cell for an immigrant family.
Is this really what immigration control in the United States has come to? Imprisoning children and threatening them with isolation and violence?
The ACLU, naturally, filed a lawsuit earlier this year and won, requiring the "facility" to make some much-needed improvements. On the link, Barbara Hines, at the bottom right, who has a podcast you can link to, was also interviewed for Deneice's documentary.