The ACLU and the University of Texas School Of Law recently filed lawsuits against federal officials charging that the conditions at the Hutto Detention Facility in Taylor, Texas violate numerous provisions of Flores v. Meese, a 1997 court settlement that establishes minimum standards and conditions for the housing and release of all minors in federal immigration custody.

The lawsuits seek the release of the children together with their families from the Texas facility under appropriate and human supervision. According to Lisa Graybill, Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas, “The choice is not between enforcement of immigration laws and humane treatment of immigrant families. There are various alternatives under which both can exist.”

The ACLU has produced a new Freedom Files video short on the Hutto facility. You can view the two-minute video that provides a shocking glimpse into conditions at a unique facility run by the Department of Homeland Security in Texas. Of the approximately 400 detainees at the Hutto Detention Facility, many are children who belong to refugee families seeking political asylum in the United States after escaping persecution in their country of origin.

The video introduces viewers to children like two-year-old Angie and her older sister Nixcari, former inmates at the bleak, barbed-wire encased Hutto facility, where children wearing prison garb are held in small cells for the majority of each day. Children are not permitted toys or food in the cells and are rarely let outside. Recreational time is severely limited as are educational opportunities. Access to medical, dental and mental health treatment is inadequate.


View the Video