Protests In Taylor As UN Inspector Is Not Allowed In T. Don Hutto

Posted in Privatization, Criminal Justice, T. Don Hutto, Around The Nation, Around The State, Williamson County at 10:22 am by wcnews

A UN Inspector coming to the US to see how immigrants are treated in our country was denied access by ICE after being told otherwise, to tour the T. Don Hutto family lock-up in Taylor. U.N. official to meet former detainees after tour of Texas immigration facility canceled.

A United Nations migrant rights expert planned to meet Monday with former detainees of a highly criticized Texas immigrant detention center after his tour of the facility was canceled.Jorge Bustamante, the Human Rights Council’s independent expert on migrant rights, said he was notified Sunday that his planned visit to the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor had been called off. Bustamante said he was not given a reason.

“I am frustrated by the cancellation,” said Bustamante, who said he had been invited to tour the facility by the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency canceled Bustamante’s visit to Hutto because of pending litigation regarding the facility, according to a State Department spokesman. Last week, an ICE spokeswoman said the visit had never been approved.

In this KXAN report on the protest, with video, Mr. Bustamante refutes the ICE statement and questions why they must lie about it.

Bustamante says he was invited by the Department of Homeland Security months ago. But when he arrived Monday, he was not allowed inside.

“They had an advanced word, as I’m trying to explain to you, because they invited me,” Bustamante said. “I am here under a written invitation of the United States government.”

An AP report says the visit to the facility was never approved by federal authorities.

“Well, that is simply not true,” Bustamante said, “and I don’t know why they are lying.”

Whether it’s pending legislation, a pending lawsuit or lying, it all goes back to one thing. As the demonstrators say, they’ve got something to hide:

Demonstrators marched and chanted. They say it’s wrong for government officials to detain children at the T. Don Hutto center. They also say it’s wrong to deny a UN representaive access inside the immigration center.

“What Homeland Security and Bush are doing is manifesting that they all have something to hide from the world,” said Jay Johnson Castro with Save the Children. “This man is an expert. This man is an official expert from the human rights council.”

All of that and it has gotten the blessing of the elected government of Williamson County. Be sure and let the County Judge, Dan Gattis, Sr. and your Commissioner know how you feel about your county government sanctioning the detention of children. Don’t forget Congressman John Carter, and state Rep.’s Mike Krusee and Dan Gattis, Jr.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » T. Don Hutto Update said,

    May 17, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    […] Last we heard of T. Don Hutto was that UN Inspector Jorge Bustamante was not allowed to visit the lock-up. A visit that was scheduled prior to his trip to the United States to prepare a report on the treatment of immigrants here. He was also denied access to a facility in New Jersey last week. […]

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.