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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Last few families depart Texas detention center

    Last few families depart Texas detention center

    By ANABELLE GARAY, The Associated Press
    7:07 p.m. September 18, 2009

    DALLAS — The last immigrant families have departed a disparaged former Texas prison that housed them while they awaited decisions in immigration cases, federal officials said Friday.

    The families have been deported, paroled or released while they pursue asylum or another immigration status to remain in the U.S., Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement. The last four families left the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor this week.

    ICE has said Hutto will now house only female detainees.

    Federal officials announced last month that Hutto would no longer hold immigrant and asylum-seeking families as part of a Department of Homeland Security plan to reform detention policies. Families arriving at the U.S. border and entry points from now on either will be placed under supervision or detained at the much-smaller Berks Family Residential Center in Leesport, Pa.

    Hutto opened as a family detention center in 2006 to ensure the families would show up to immigration court. ICE wanted to end the "catch and release" practice that had permitted families in the U.S. illegally to remain free while awaiting a hearing. Some borrowed other people's children and posed as families to avoid detention, ICE officials maintain.

    But Hutto quickly drew criticism. Guards trained to detain violent criminal adults were in charge of sad, sick or restless children – from babies to teenagers. Parents complained children were disciplined with threats of being separated from their family. ICE has said all at Hutto were treated humanely.

    Children and parents lived in tiny cells furnished with bunk beds and a steel toilet and lined up for up to several head counts daily. Toys, pencils or even juice boxes were not allowed in cells. The school day was just an hour or two.

    After advocates sued the government, privacy curtains were installed around cell toilets and razor wire was removed from around the complex.

    Cartoon murals were painted on walls. Children began attending more regular school days.

    Court-appointed observers inspected the facility and talked to detainees. The government periodically reviewed cases to determine if families could be bonded out or paroled.

    Hutto was set to stop holding families by year's end, but outgoing Homeland Security detention adviser Dora Schriro had said she expected them to leave sooner.

    Schriro, whose last day heading the department's Office of Detention Policy and Planning was Friday, was to leave a report detailing other detention recommendations before starting Monday as New York City Jails Commissioner. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is expected to make the report public soon.
    Associated Press Writer Suzanne Gamboa in Washington contributed to this report. ... dex=168366

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    New Alien City-(formerly New York City)
    How much did this cost the taxpayers?
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