By Michelle Iracheta | October 11, 2014 | Updated: October 11, 2014 9:53pm

Photo By Mayra Beltran/Staff
Ixtli Silva shares a moment with her aunt Zulma Vidals while drumming outside the Houston Processing Center as protestors chant, drum, and speak to oppose immigrant detention on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, in Houston. ( Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle )

More than a dozen people chanted and beat makeshift drums outside a north Houston processing center Saturday to protest the detention of immigrants and refugee families.

"We want to make some noise and oppose the facility that is going to be opened in Dilley, Texas," said Jorge Olvera, president of the Hispanic Student Association at the University of Houston, who came to support the protest outside Houston's Corrections Corporations of America Houston Processing Center that was held in conjunction with a protest at the Karnes County Detention Center.

The South Texas Family Detention Center is scheduled to be built on a 50-acre site in Dilley within the next seven months. As part of a four-year agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CCA will house and be responsible for 2,400 individuals at the new facility.

"I'm not a fan of private companies being in charge of the detention facilities," Olvera said. "It's for profit for them."

Protester Tony Diaz said companies like CCA are making money off separating families in for-profit prisons and detention facilities.

"Even the name is offensive. You process meat. You process food, not people," he said. "This is why we have to speak up."

He added that this is an important human rights' issue that everyone should be concerned about. "This is not just a Latino issue," Diaz said.

Olvera said his student organization tries to educate the community at UH about detention centers and the Hispanic community in general.

"Some of our members are DREAMERS," he said. "We are here to support them and their families who are being held in detention centers."

The children are the ones who are truly affected when families are separated, Olvera said.

"For me the biggest concern is what happens to the children and their psyche - the trauma that they have to go through and the fear that they will have to continue to have throughout their lives because they have seen their parents behind a jail cell," he said.

Although families may be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, implemented by the Obama administration in 2012 under the DREAM Act, the requirements to request status can overwhelm some people, said Diaz.

"It costs about $470 just to file," he said. "Not everyone has that."

Francisco Hernandez, 20, said he spent six months in county lockup and another month at the Houston Processing Center last year after being stopped by police and arrested for not having a license. He was also undocumented, he said.

His brother had been stopped by police just two years earlier and because he was undocumented had to spend time at the Houston Processing Center, he said. A few months later, he was deported to Mexico.

Their mother, Antonia Hernandez, who came to the U.S. more than 14 years ago to "find a better life for her two children," said she was terrified when Francisco was arrested that she would lose another son.

She was unable to visit him for seven months, restricted to phone calls during that time. An attorney helped get him out of the center.

But had he not been arrested, Hernandez may have been eligible to apply for DACA. Now the family is fighting to remove to remove the misdemeanor from his record, his mother said.

"That fear never goes away," she said. "We try to protect him, but we're always scared."