Vigil at Texas immigrant detention center

On Dec. 16, some 100 activists marched from downtown Taylor, Texas, to the T. Don Hutto immigrant prison at the outskirts of town, which holds families with children facing deportation. At sundown, the activists lit candles and held a vigil, then attempted to deliver holiday toys and wrapping paper into the lobby of the prison as gifts for the detainees. “Free the Children, Now!” chanted the crowd, led by Jaime Martinez, National Treasurer of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). “Close Hutto Down!” Over more than a dozen protests in the past year, security guards have generally stopped protesters from crossing a line onto prison grounds, but this time the protesters were allowed to deliver their gifts, and prison officials appeared to be processing the toys for distribution to the detaineees. The protest was co-sponsored by LULAC and Texans United for Families (TUFF). According to Sherry Dana, an activist from Georgetown, Texas, as of Dec. 14 the Hutto prison held 142 detainees: 13 men, 55 women, 31 boys and 43 girls. The number of detainees can change on a daily basis. (Counterpunch, Dec. 17)

On Dec. 18, activists commemorated International Migrants Day with a candlelight vigil in downtown Dallas, Texas. The vigil urged an end to raids against immigrants and the closure of the Hutto prison. (AP, Dec. 18)

From Immigration News Briefs, Dec. 16

See our last posts on the immigration crackdown.