The T. Don Hutto detention facility in Taylor, Texas is where around 400 immigrants from all over the world, around half children, are being held in prison cells. Some have been there over two years, with inadequate food, recreation, health care, education and dental care, and report being threatened with abuse and splitting of the families if they make noise. Children aren’t allowed toys or food in their cells, and there is no privacy.
Remember, there are around 200 children in this facility. Ten have been released since March, actually taken from their parents and put with relatives, what the guards told them would happen if they caused trouble.
How can they justify this?
Nine-year-old Kevin Yourdkhani, the son of Iranian-born parents who have sought asylum in Canada for several years, ended up in Hutto after the plane he and his family were traveling on was forced to make an emergency landing in Puerto Rico, where U.S. officials questioned their passports.
In his deposition, Kevin complained about the ridiculous excuse for an education system at Hutto. “Students” in the class of 25 ranged in age from six to 12 years old. “All we do is color and draw pictures and watch Spanish movies,” Kevin said. Kevin also said that his bed was small and cold, and stuck next to a smelly washroom. His mother had to use the toilet in front of him.
Once, when Kevin’s dad came in to fix the bed, guards told him that if his father was in his room again, both parents would be put in separate jails, and Kevin would be sent to a foster home. “I cried and cried,” he said. “I felt if I will be separated, I can never see my parents again, and I will get stepparents, and they will hurt me or maybe they will kill me.”
These people didn’t even want to come to America. I can see why.
To read more about this and see a video of some of the children recounting their experiences, go here.