Saturday, September 29, 2007

Deplorable Conditions in Hutto Detention Center

"I Want To Be Free": 9-Year-Old Canadian Citizen Pleads From Texas Immigration Jail

Kevin is nine years old. He's a Canadian citizen (Seeking Asylum in Canada) flying from Iran with his parents. They were flying over the United States, when the plane had to land in Puerto Rico because a passenger had a heart attack, and when they landed, the Majid family was taken off the flight ...taken to Hutto Detention Center.

You Tube Video

"You have a child who is sleeping in what was a jail cell for a maximum-security prison that has been converted, but they still leave the exposed toilet, you know, sitting in the middle of their room. There's no privacy. With other children, he's in a room separate from his parents. Now, but the door may be not locked at night, but that door is certainly shut, and it’s a steel heavy door. They are placed in a prison. There's no doubt that this is a prison. And what is particularly troubling about this is that this was designed for the purpose of holding families, yet they made a conscious decision to maintain the facility as a prison, to leave the barbed wire, to leave the doors, to leave the environment as a prison. "

The Hutto facility is run by CCA, the Corrections Corporation of America. In fact, the jail is named after CCA’s cofounder, T. Don Hutto. It is very clearly a PRISON that is being used to house inmates, and it has no resemblance to a home. I mean, there’s sofas. There are plastic sofas and TVs, but that’s about it. And one of the things that's very disturbing about this model that they’re using is that there are alternatives. As I mentioned before, there are pre-hearing release programs that could be used.


ultima said...

Something for those who would violate borders to contemplate before the fact!!

Liquidmicro said...

Dee says: Kevin is nine years old. He's a Canadian citizen (Seeking Asylum in Canada) flying from Iran with his parents.

Your () should state (His parents are Iranian Citizens and are seeking Asylum in Canada, Kevin was born in Canada and is Canadian by Birth) - In general, anyone born in Canada from 1947 onwards acquired Canadian citizenship at birth. The only exceptions concern children born to diplomats, where additional requirements apply.

Majid and Masomeh — they prefer their last name not be used — initially fled Iran for Canada in January, 1995, to seek political asylum. Majid did odd jobs, eventually becoming manager of an east Toronto pizza parlour, paying the rent for their one-bedroom apartment.

In 1997, their only son, Kevin, was born. “For the first time, I was happy,” Majid said from the Hutto detention facility.

“I had my family with me — it's the only family I have — we didn't have any problems and we lived happy in Toronto.”

Kevin attended a Toronto school until Grade 3. Meanwhile, his parents were seeking refugee status, based on fear of persecution in Iran, but their application was denied and, in December, 2005, the family of three was deported.

Upon their arrival in Tehran, Majid said he was taken away from his family to a prison cell. For three months, he was detained, beaten and tortured, he said. When he was released, the three were reunited, and, with the help of friends and relatives, they connected with a people smuggler in Tehran.

“I pay him $40,000 to [get us] to Canada. It included everything: fake passports, tickets. He got $20,000 in Iran, and $20,000 in Turkey.”

Carrying Greek passports — which do not require visas for entry into Canada — they traveled to Guyana, where they eventually boarded a Toronto-bound plane.

Lorne Waldman, an immigration lawyer in Toronto, said that because of the heightened security measures put in place after Sept. 11, 2001, people smugglers have found alternate routes to get into Canada.

“We see people coming in with very exotic and complex and convoluted routes,” he said. “Moscow was one. Guyana is another ... because the smugglers believe it was a route that was subjected to less scrutiny.”

It was that belief that got Kevin and his parents onto a Zoom Airlines chartered, non-stop flight from Georgetown to Toronto.

Seems to me the problem they had in Puerto Rico was that they had false documentation, Greek Passports, and were detained until their identities could be figured out and verified.

Liquidmicro said...

When the consular officer at the Canadian consulate in Dallas visited the family at Hutto two weeks ago, Majid said, “he asked about our rooms and our food. Just regarding here. I asked him what he can do for us, and he said, ‘I don't promise now. But we can help Kevin, not you.' ”

David Marshall, a consulate spokesman, said that he could not talk about the case, citing the Privacy Act.

Alain Cacchione, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Canada, would not comment either.

But Audrey Macklin, a professor of immigration at the University of Toronto, said that this case highlights the asymmetry of Canadian citizenship.

“We say that if adults are Canadian citizens, then they can somehow confer protection of their citizenship on their children. But we don't allow the reverse,” she said from Toronto. “Instead, what we do is render, in effect, the Canadian citizenship of the child null, because he can't exercise it [and sponsor his parents]. It's as if his Canadian citizenship doesn't exist or is worthless because his parents don't have it.”

She said that if the Canadian government wanted to protect Kevin, it could.

“If protecting this child means letting the parents into Canada, is that a price worth paying? Well, I think we should seriously consider that.”

If they were allowed back into Canada, Prof. Macklin said, they could seek what is called a pre-risk removal assessment based on “new facts about what happened in Iran when they were deported.”

Above all else, Kevin, Majid and Masomeh say they want to live in Canada.

“We want to be free and safe,” Majid said. “Our plan was to go to Toronto, Canada, because it's my son's home and our home for the past few years. We have nothing there, but we were there for 10 years and it was good.”

Updated: 9-Year-Old Canadian Citizen and Iranian Parents Arrive in Toronto After Six Weeks in Texas Immigration Jail

Liquidmicro said...

“Instead, what we do is render, in effect, the Canadian citizenship of the child null, because he can't exercise it [and sponsor his parents]. It's as if his Canadian citizenship doesn't exist or is worthless because his parents don't have it.”

Seems Canada doesn't consider Kevin as a Citizen, due to his parents being Iranian Citizens.

Liquidmicro said...

In the end Canada has allowed the family in and will allow them to file a pre-risk removal assessment, maybe they will be given Asylum there.

Hutto is a detention center, this family was using false documentation to enter a country illegally, Canada really didn't want to do anything for them but eventually gave in and allowed them to re-apply for Asylum based on “new facts about what happened in Iran when they were deported.”

Good for them. Hutto did what it was designed to do.

patriot said...

According to what I have read about Hutto, it is not the hell hole that the pro-illegal symphs make it out to be. What problems there were there have been rectified quite awhile ago.

Kathleen said...

In addition to the shame of Hutto, we also have the "Tent City" at Raymondville, which is also run by a private company for profit. You can read about one story about it here:

or here:

thanks for your blog! interesting stuff.

Kathleen (Texas Prison Bid'ness)

Kathleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dee said...

Pat and Liquid,
The point of this post is, Hutto is a prison. Children and families are taken there, in prison conditions, awaiting their hearing. They are imprisoned as they are awaiting the hearing. Imprisoned!!! In inhumane conditions.

The American Public is led to believe these children are not caged in cells in inhumane conditions. These FACTS are hidden from the public.

This is worse than the WW2 Japanese Detention centers and as bad as the concentration camps.

Liquidmicro said...

What about American Citizens that are in jail for civil offenses, they serve 30 days to 2 years, are torn from there family, yet I don't here a word out of your mouths about them!!

At least the 'Illegals' get to have their children with them while being detained.

They chose and made decisions that put them in the predicaments that they are in, they have nobody but themselves to blame. They wanted equality, now they are getting it, How do you like it now!!!! Welcome to the good Old US of A!!!!

Liquidmicro said...

Dee says: Children and families are taken there, in prison conditions, awaiting their hearing. They are imprisoned as they are awaiting the hearing. Imprisoned!!! In inhumane conditions.

How about they all stay at your house until there hearings come up??!! What say you??

Are our prisoners also in inhumane conditions?? What about them?? What about the mother who gives birth in our Prison system, she gets to keep her child for up to 6 months while living in the same prison she has been in, where is your anger for her?? After all it is inhumane for that child to be there, is it not??

patriot said...

Hutto is not a prison, it is a detention center. Where is your proof that the living conditions are "deplorable"? And I will not accept the opinions of the detainees themselves, they would be biased and looking for sympathy.

I read an article about Hutto awhile back and from what I read, it is very humane and families get to stay together.

Liquidmicro said...

Where is your outrage for these old timers?? Aging Inmates Clogging Nation's Prisons

HARDWICK, Ga. - Razor wire topping the fences seems almost a joke at the Men's State Prison, where many inmates are slumped in wheelchairs, or leaning on walkers or canes.

It's becoming an increasingly common sight: geriatric inmates spending their waning days behind bars. The soaring number of aging inmates is now out pacing the prison growth as a whole.

I say let them out on the street, what the hell. There just geriatrics.

ultima said...

This episode should suggest to Canada and to the U.S. that birthright citizenship should be carefully re-examined. This is the basic problem. Without birthright there would be little interest in this story. For folks that lived in a one room apartment, they sure seemed to have enough money to gain their exit from Iran and back to Canada. They must have been very thrifty. Beatings are not unusual in Iranian prisons.

Since they had Greek passports maybe that's where they should have stopped.

Let's get REp. Deal's birthright citizenship bill passed through a letter writing campaign in support of HR 1940. Without it we will just have more of these cases and incessant cries of family separation even though any responsible parent wouldn't give a second thought to the possibility of leaving a minor child behind. No child left behind would be a good policy in this arena too.

Anonymous said...

LaRaza--the organization, the newspaper need to get the word out to all illegal aliens that the conditions they face if caught are not like a 5 star hotel. This is their duty to let illegals know this. In addition, Mexican newspapers should let potential illegal border crossers know what they face if they break American law and enter this country. Would you agree Dee?


Dee said...

Hutto and the other Texas Detention Centers are owned and run by cronies of Bush and the RNC. The are paid $xx for DAY!! That is the reason they incarcerate families. More heads.

I predict that in the future, we will look back on this as another blight on our history, as with the Japanese Internment Camps and the Trail of Tears.

Dee said...

the above should say: XX amount of Dollars ($) per Day.

patriot said...

To compare Hutto to those other incidents in history would really be far fetched, especially since the ones in Hutto are illegal aliens.

What part of they are trying to keep the families humanely together rather than apart, do you not understand?

Page Hits