email from Jay Johnson-Castro, Jan. 14, 2007
I’m pleased to share the following informative update about the Hutto prison camp with you [copied below.] Rebecca Berhhardt, attorney for the ACLU, sent the following update…so that I can share it with y’all. Rebecca is also a founding member of Texans United For Families (TUFF)…the coalition of organizations that held the first vigil in front of the Hutto prison camp on December 16, 2006 after my Capitol to Hutto walk.
As she describes…we’ve had “some success” already. Our walk and vigils…and the media attention that we generated has resulted in some changes of conditions.
As Rebecca also indicates…we still have much “further to go”. Our mission is to not only shut down such an anti-American facility…but also to shut down the morally bankrupt mentality that thinks that something like the imprisoning of helpless women and innocent children is acceptable on American soil…let alone in the great State of Texas. Let alone FOR PROFIT.
Please remember that in a month…mid February…we will be holding a third vigil in front of the Hutto prison camp. The Hutto prison camp is located in Taylor, TX …just 35 miles northeast of [Austin] Texas . Marcha Migrante II’s Border Caravan will travel from San Diego to Brownsville …and then up to Hutto to hold the vigil. By then…the whole world will know about this travesty that is being committed by ICE… in the name of “national security”…that our country works with private profiteers to incarcerate children from 2-y-o on up.
We’ll be updating you on the details of the Border Caravan’s arrival at Hutto. Come join us if you can.
Connecting the dots…Making a difference
Jay J. Johnson-Castro, Sr.
Del Rio, Texas , USA
Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila , Mexico
From: Rebecca Bernhardt
Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2007 5:41 PM
To: Jay J. Johnson
Subject: Here’s my update
January 13, 2007 Hutto Update
Some Success, But Further To Go
Many of you have probably heard that since the protests held in December, the Williamson County Commissioners toured the T. Don Hutto Facility and certified as humane and decent. What you probably haven’t heard is that, probably as a result of the protests and related media attention, the conditions in the facility have changed. We know that the education, in particular, has received a major overhaul, and children are now receiving four hours of education a day, instead of just one hour. We also know that at least some of the detainees are reporting that the food has improved, at least a little bit.
The facility is planning a media tour in the not so distant future. If you have any media contacts who would be interested in this information, please make sure they inquire. We can anticipate the facility putting its best foot forward for the visit and it’s unlikely any of the reporters will be permitted to talk to detainees during their tour.
Texans United for Families (TUF) continue to work to coordinate with the Taylor community members we met as a result of the first protest, and are considering future activities that will also take advantage of the growing interest in closing the facility in communities in Dallas, Houston, and elsewhere.
The ACLU of Texas has also drafted a proposed resolution, for the Texas Legislature, that asks the Department of Homeland Security to exhaust all less punitive options before ever resorting to detaining families. We are very hopeful that this resolution will receive sponsorship and be filed as a proposed resolution with the legislature soon.
We anticipate being able to talk about new national and local updates soon.