Wednesday, November 26, 2008

December 7, 2008: Vigil for Families in Detention

Williamson County Courthouse | December 7, 2008

On Sunday, December 7, at 4 p.m. a peaceful coalition of individuals and groups opposing Willliamson County's participation in the detention of asylum seekers will gather on the Williamson County Courthouse steps in downtown Georgetown.

Although federal law requires the "least restrictive setting possible" for immigrant families, in 2006 Williamson County contracted with Corrections Corporation of America, a private for-profit prison company, to incarcerate non-criminal women and children in the T. Don Hutto detention facility in Taylor. The contracts between ICE, Williamson County, and CCA are up for renewal in January.

Please help us show Williamson County, Homeland Security, and the private prison industry that imprisoning innocent children will no longer be tolerated in the United States of America.

We will meet in the parking lot on Austin Ave. between 4th and 5th Streets in Georgetown at 3:30 p.m. and walk 3 blocks to the County Courthouse to hear community leaders speak in support of alternatives to the incarceration of families awaiting asylum or immigration hearings.

There are currently 385 detainees in T. Don Hutto including 92 children. As a result of the lawsuits brought by ACLU and the UT School of Law Immigration Clinic, detainees are now allowed to wear their own clothing. Thanks to a recent intervention by the UT School of Law Immigration Clinic, ICE has also agreed to allow detainees to use phone cards given to them rather than having to buy the cards through CCA.

If you would like to bring a gift to the vigil, suggestions include new toys in their original packaging (and made in the USA), books, music players, music, lotions, shampoos, candy, phone cards, and clothing such as sweaters and warm socks.

For further information or to sign up to speak, please contact Sherry Dana at sdana787[ at] gmail [dot] com.