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    Senior Member avenger's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Royse City, Texas

    Lawsuit Settled For Detained Immigrant Children

    This is the amnesty logic applied to incarceration. If illegals are going to be detained with their family lets make 'em as comfortable as we can, that'll keep 'em from coming here illegally. What the heck let's give 'em all big screen TV's with surround sound so they can play that Spanish polka junk 24/7. It'll just be one great big party! What a wonderful lesson our government is teaching these children. No wonder they are screaming for rights...they have been spoiled rotton!

    Aug 27, 2007 6:02 pm US/Central ... 90027.html

    Lawsuit Settled For Detained Immigrant Children
    (AP) DALLAS Attorneys who sued the federal government claiming illegal immigrant children were wrongfully held with their families in prison-like conditions have reached a proposed settlement that would make several changes at a former Texas prison.

    The deal was announced Monday as a trial in the lawsuit was set to open in Austin. It was submitted late Sunday and was expected to be approved by a federal judge.

    As part of the agreement, a full-time pediatrician would be added to the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Facility in Taylor, northeast of Austin, and a counting system that required families to be in their cells 12 hours a day would be eliminated. Privacy curtains would be installed around toilets.

    The lawsuit sought the release of the immigrants and improved conditions at Hutto, where families live in cells with bunk beds and a toilet. Attorneys contended that conditions at Hutto violated an agreement that called for immigration authorities to house children in nonsecure, licensed programs such as shelters or foster homes.

    Under the deal, families who have some recourse to contest deportation -- such as an asylum claim -- could be placed at Hutto only if no other space were available. Families in expedited removal proceedings -- where no hearing is necessary for deportation -- could be placed at Hutto, but all families' cases would be reviewed every 30 days to determine if they could be transferred or released.

    Other changes include allowing children over 12 to move freely within Hutto and periodic reviews of the facility by a federal magistrate.

    All of the children in the lawsuit have been released from Hutto. Some now live with family members who are U.S. citizens or legal residents.

    Two girls from Colombia were at the facility with their family for close to a year, the longest of all the plaintiffs.

    At the time they arrived, children at Hutto had only one hour of class instruction and little time to eat their meals. Families ate, showered and turned in on schedule and underwent a head count four times a day. They also didn't have physical contact with visiting relatives or friends.

    Some of the changes already under way at Hutto include providing children five hours of class time and more outdoor recreational time.

    Earlier this year, Hutto housed some 400 illegal immigrants and asylum seekers -- half of them children. None have criminal records or violent histories, and the American Civil Liberties Union and the University of Texas School of Law Immigration Clinic sued this year on behalf of 26 young detainees and former detainees.

    Lisa Graybill, legal director for the ACLU of Texas, said she was pleased with the deal.

    "But the fact remains that our government should not be locking up innocent children -- period," Graybill said. "That is not what America is about. It is time for Congress to intervene and end the policy of family detention."

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees the facility, said in a statement that the reviews will help improve communication about the facility and end misconceptions about Hutto. The 512-bed facility is operated by Corrections Corporation of America under a contract with Williamson County.

    "The Hutto facility is a safe and healthy environment for children and adults. All its residents are treated with dignity and respect," ICE said.

    Advocates say children at Hutto received inadequate classroom instruction and had limited access to health care. Uniformed, handcuff-toting correctional officers called "counselors" threatened children with separating them from their families, advocates say.

    Officials say the facility is meant to end the "catch and release" practice that in the past permitted families in the United States illegally to remain free while awaiting a court hearing. Many never showed up in court, while some borrowed other people's children and posed as families to avoid detention, ICE officials say.

    The plaintiffs included children ages 1 to 17 from Guatemala, Venezuela, Lithuania, Somalia, Canada, Romania and other countries. Most were from families seeking asylum in the U.S.
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