Defunct prison reopens as immigrant detainee center
Since it opened, T. Don Hutto Private Prison in Taylor has fought to stay relevant, having had financial problems from lack of enough prisoners in Texas.
Then the Department of Homeland Security stepped in with a new contract for T. Don Hutto – as a place to detain illegal immigrants waiting to be deported out of the United States.
This is the first official detainee facility for illegal immigrants. Entire families are bused there to wait for their processing back to their country of origin, which is most often Mexico.
I know a man who works there, a seasoned prison guard. I will call him Tommy, obviously not his real name. Tommy is a seasoned hard-ass prison guard, but a good man.
He described the incoming immigrant families holding screaming children in their arms. He described the guards taking their fingerprints, taking the fingerprints of the babies.
He said it was disturbing to the most hardened prison workers to see poor families being held like prisoners, the children behind bars, crying, all of them crying.
He said they were all poor and frightened. He has been around criminals for many years. These are not criminals. They are poor and desperate.
What I heard disturbed me too. I don't know what else to say. The internal picture of fingerprinting babies offends me.
So much about the methods of this administration offend me.
We say that they should not come into this country illegally. But if through fate, you found yourself a poor uneducated Mexican, what would you do? And if your children were starving, wouldn't you do anything to feed them, to try for a life with some hope?