Texas county ends partnership with ICE, local detention center

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A county in Texas has decided to end its intergovernmental services agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Williamson County commissioners in a 4-1 vote on Tuesday terminated the county’s agreement with the law enforcement agency and its operations in its local detention facility, the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, according to a local NBC affiliate. The contract had been scheduled to end on Jan. 31, 2019. 

Local commissioners also voted to end their agreement with CoreCivic, Inc., the private company that manages the detention facility.

According to the local publication, the county’s detention facility first opened in 2006 and only shelters women detained by the agency.

Local activists told the station that the facility currently houses roughly 500 women, 40 of which are mothers who they claimed were recently separated from their kids.

{mosads}Terry Cook, one of the county commissioners, released a statement that said she appreciated the interest of activists on the issue. She voted to end the agreements with ICE and Core Civic.  

“I have appreciated the passion from activists that has been expressed to me and this Court in regards to T. Don Hutto,” Cook said in a statement. “While this vote today does not solve the larger issue of immigration, the future of the women detained there, or the closing of the facility, I hope these activists do not celebrate this vote, but redouble their efforts in changing immigration policy at the federal level.”

The city’s decision to end its contracts comes amid the controversy surrounding the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” border policy, which resulted in children being split from their parents until Trump ended those separations last week.

Tags CoreCivic Jeff Sessions T. Don Hutto Residential Center U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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