Immigrant Detention For Profit Faces Growing Resistance After Big Expansion Under Trump

A grassroots movement opposing privately-run immigrant jails across the country, which grew under former President Trump, has continued and found a more receptive audience under President Biden.
Sulma Franco, an organizer with Mujeres Luchadoras and Grassroots Leadership and an LGBT activist from Guatemala, leads protestors to the entrance of the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas on March 24 where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts for the detention of migrant women. Source: Julia Robinson

A dozen Central Americans in T-shirts that read Mujeres Luchadores — Fighting Women — marched through a small Texas town last month toward the gates of an imposing private detention center where they all used to be incarcerated.

"Biden, hear us! Shut down Hutto!" they chanted.

They're referring to T. Don Hutto Residential Center, the former state prison in Taylor — just northeast of Austin — named after the founder of the private prison company that holds the contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"These corporations are profiting off of our suffering," former Guatemalan detainee Sulma Franco says into a bullhorn. "We want all the cages shut down now!"

Demonstrations like this are part of a growing grassroots resistance to privately run immigrant jails across the country.

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