Monday, May 18, 2009

T.Don Hutto "Residential Center" Taylor, TX

This week, as a part of OnFire's immigration focus, we'll be looking at detention of immigrants and asylum-seekers. Check out this video (a 3-Part series on YouTube) from Grassroots Leadership on the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor, TX, and visit the Grassroots site to find ways to take action on this important issue.

Part II:

Part III:

From Grassroots Leadership:
ICE holds immigrant families at the T. Don Hutto family detention center. Before the successful legal action by the ACLU in the fall of 2007, children wore prison garb, and were denied adequate schooling, health care, and recreation. Despite some important improvements made as a result of community organizing, the fight is not over. Hutto remains a medium security prison managed by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a for-profit adult corrections company. Incarceration of infants and children cannot be allowed-- even with the "privacy curtains around toilets" mandated in the ACLU settlement.

The Department of Homeland Security must adopt humane alternatives for managing families whose immigration status is in limbo and work to incorporate alternatives which keep families intact and that do not rely on incarceration. Alternatives must recognize that these families possess equal and inalienable rights to dignified treatment as members of the larger human family.


Sign the Facebook petition to end family detention.

Write letters to the Obama Administration.


The Big Business of Family Detention, by Courtney E. Martin

The Least of These: Documentary Film on Family Detention

US Should Stop Locking Up Immigrant Kids, by Rev. John S. Rausch


"It's not criminal [...] if you run away from your country looking for peace, a place to live."
--Bahja, Asylum-seeker from Somalia
What should be a common-sense statement resonates as profound, or even controversial in our current cultural climate. And though aware of typical responses, I find myself asking anew, why is this the case? There are Biblical examples of "illegals" from Abraham to Joseph, father of Jesus--strangers seeking refuge in a foreign land. If we rarely question the divine purpose of their migrations, why, then, do we criminalize today's peace-seekers? How can we, as young people of faith, reverse the xenophobic hardening of hearts? Please share your thoughts with the community.

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