Local nonprofit files FOIA against ICE for local detention center contracts

The privately run T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor houses women detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The privately run T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor houses women detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Local nonprofit Grassroots Leadership announced Sept. 10 its plan to submit a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request to the  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for access to its contract with T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor.

Grassroots Leadership—which works to end prison profiteering, mass incarceration and deportation—continues to fight to close the facility, which remains open even after Williamson County Commissioners Court voted June 2018 to end its contract for the facility with ICE and CoreCivic, a company that owns and manages private prisons and detention centers.

T. Don Hutto currently hosts more than 500 women who are suspected by U.S. immigration officials of being in the country illegally, according to the organization.

Williamson County's role with the facility involved administering monetary transfers between CoreCivic and the federal government, according to the contract.

The county's contract with the facility formally ended January 2019, but the facility is still open after ICE established a new temporary contract extension with CoreCivic for the maintenance of the facility, according to a Grassroots Leadership news release.

Organization leadership said ICE refused to provide any documentation of its new contract or its compliance with federal procurement law.

Organizers said it is unclear how long the contract extension will last and unclear how ICE was able to enter a new contract with a private corporation without engaging in a competitive bidding process as designated in federal procurement law, according to the release.

Grassroots Leadership is represented by the University of Texas School of Law Civil Rights Clinic and will file a suit in federal court to compel release of this requested contract and procurement documentation, the release said.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Pflugerville City Council unanimously approved a resolution reducing the scope of its Lake Pflugerville improvements at its Dec. 10 meeting. (Community Impact Staff)
City Council approves reduced scope for Lake Pflugerville improvements

Pflugerville City Council unanimously approved a resolution reducing the scope of its Lake Pflugerville improvements at its Dec. 10 meeting.

KFC opened in Hutto on Dec. 10. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
KFC now open in Hutto

The national fast food chain is known for its fried chicken, along with traditional Southern sides such as mashed potatoes and coleslaw.

Travis County commissioners voted to allow staff to begin contract negotiations for a new women's jail facility at a Dec. 10 meeting. (Courtesy Travis County Sheriff's Office)
Travis County begins contract negotiations for women’s jail facility as overall jail population continues to decline

The county has planned to build a new, separate women’s facility for years, despite some pushback from local activists.

Delighted Paws Pet Care began providing services to Round Rock-area pets in November. (Courtesy Delighted Paws Pet Care)
Delighted Paws Pet Care now serving Round Rock

Delighted Paws Pet Care, a provider of in-home pet sitting and private dog walking services, began providing services to Round Rock-area pets in November.

Williamson County Commissioners Court established the primary early voting locations Dec. 10. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Most early voting polling locations finalized for March 2020 primaries

Court establishes primary early voting locations ahead of March 2020 elections.

Common winter allergies in Texas are caused by pollen from the Ashe juniper—also known as a mountain cedar. The tree is native to the area. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
As pollen counts rise in Central Texas, learn about cedar fever and allergy prevention

As temperatures cool heading into the winter season in Central Texas, pollen counts from Ashe juniper trees begin to climb, causing seasonal allergies referred to locally by residents as “cedar fever.”

James Avery storefront in progress, coming soon, Stone Hill Town Center
James Avery to open storefront in Pflugerville's Stone Hill Town Center

The jewelry chain specializes in bracelets, necklaces, charms and pendents, along with handbags and signature jewelry collections.

bath and body works strip mall storefront
Bath & Body Works to open Pflugerville storefront in 2020

From specialty soaps to candles and body care products: A Bath & Body Works is coming to Pflugerville next year.

Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza, at the lectern, speaks at a November 2017 press conference. Garza filed her candidacy for Travis County attorney on Dec. 9.
Delia Garza files for Travis County attorney race, will finish term as Austin Mayor Pro Tem

Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza filed her candidacy paperwork Dec. 9 to run for Travis County attorney as a Democrat.

A candidate for interim city manager will be selected from the Texas Municipal League. (Courtesy city of Huttto)
Hutto seeks to hire interim city manager from Texas Municipal League

The city of Hutto will seek a retired city manager from the Texas Municipal League to serve as Hutto's interim city manager.

Back to top