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Rep.Rodriguez, Eddie

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Rep. Rodriguez files resolution protecting children at T. Don Hutto Immigrant Detention Facility  print page

by: Rep. Rodriguez, Eddie
02/06/2007

Austin -- State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (Austin) filed HCR 64 calling for the 80th Texas Legislature to urge the US Department of Homeland Security to reconsider all alternatives in the detention of non-criminal immigrants and asylum seeking families with children.

The Department of Homeland Security recently opened the T. Don Hutto Detention Facility in Taylor, Texas for the exclusive purpose of detaining immigrants and asylum seeking families who are awaiting immigration or deportation proceedings.

"Putting children in jail is a disproportionate response to the issue of immigration. As a society we should uphold core values which reject policies that punish children for the acts of their parents," said Representative Rodriguez.

Approximately 400 people are presently detained in the T. Don Hutto detention facility, of which half are children. These children are detained in jail uniforms and are in school for only four hours a day. They spend most of their time in a cold facility originally built to house criminals. There are reported cases of children as young as two or three being separated from their parents and placed in shelters, while their parents are placed in separate adult facilities.

"There are more appropriate and cost-effective alternatives than imprisoning families with young children, such as supervised release programs, that save tax payers money and are effective in ensuring people appear for their immigration hearings," said Rodriguez.

Detention of families takes resources away from national security priorities such as law enforcement and other first responders to improve responses to natural disasters and terrorism threats.

"We need practical, realistic immigration policies and family detention centers are not it."


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