T. Don Hutto, Back On The Agenda

Posted in Commissioners Court, Bad Government Republicans, T. Don Hutto, Williamson County at 10:28 pm by wcnews

Since the ACLU settlement with ICE there’s been little mention of the T. Don Hutto facility. That hasn’t stopped many who are still working to close the facility. There was a protest this weekend and there will be another one later this month. From the TDP, Protest calls for closure of T. Don Hutto.

Following a walk from Heritage Park downtown to the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a small group of protesters gathered Saturday to speak out against the detainment of immigrants and their children at the facility.
This was the first vigil following a settlement late August in a lawsuit against the federal government that callled for improved living conditions for immigrant children being detained at T. Don Hutto.


“These people have not committed crimes,” [Jose Orta, a Taylor resident and member of the League of United Latin American Citizens] said. “They shouldn’t be held like prisoners.”

But the ultimate hope, he said, would be to see the facility shut down. That is why, on Oct. 16, protesters from several grassroots organizations will be walking from the facility to Georgetown to address the commissioners of Williamson County.

Speaking of the commissioners they’re taking up T. Don Hutto at tomorrow’s meeting, County mulls over T. Don contract. Don’t worry, they’re not mulling closing it. Looks more like they don’t think they’re getting a big enough cut.

Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis says county taxpayers are in sort of a no-man’s land concerning the T. Don Hutto immigrant residential center - one that leaves the county with little control and lots of potential liability.

With that in mind, Gattis has placed T. Don Hutto contract discussions on today’s Commissioners Court agenda. Since May 2006 the county has served as a conduit, contracting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (the agency that used to be called Immigration and Naturalization Services) and Corrections Corporation of America, the private jail firm that operates the facility.

The arrangement pays county government almost $16,000 every month, but on Friday Gattis told the Leader he’s not sure the relationship, in it present form, is worth the potential trouble.

“We’re going to be looking at the contract and possible amendments,” Gattis said. “More our direct involvement and supervision.”


Gattis said the issues specifically surrounding detainees and their living conditions are a concern - but they are not the county’s primary concern.

It is being out of the loop in the business relationship, between ICE and CCA, which has county officials worried.

“It’s more a liability case in our situation,” Gattis said. “We’ve had a lot of discussion from attorneys back and forth. The idea is to get it on the agenda … to get commissioners to talk about this and what we want.”

Gattis mentioned liability twice and county officials are worried about being left out of the loop in the, ahem..business..ahem, relationship. Sounds like the county’s trolling for more compensation. More than likely an amended business relationship, that would allay the counties liability worries, would leave them caring little about more control over the facility. See tomorrow’s agenda here [.PDF].

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