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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

Advocacy group calls for inmate release at T. Don Hutto Residential Center amid coronavirus concerns

Grassroots Leadership believes the women housed at the facility should be released because conditions aren't safe to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak.

TAYLOR, Texas — Some are calling for the release of inmates at an immigration detention facility in Taylor, Texas.

The T. Don Hutto Residential Center houses women seeking asylum. On Tuesday, a medical professor from New York University sent a letter to Williamson County leaders saying conditions at the facility aren't safe and a coronavirus outbreak there could overwhelm local hospitals.

Now, advocates with the group Grassroots Leadership are calling on the City of Taylor and Williamson County to release the women housed there.

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The City of Taylor sent KVUE the following statement: 

"The City of Taylor has been in contact with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding the measures being taken at the T Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor to ensure public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March 25, 2020, the Center has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. In response to a request from Taylor Fire Chief Daniel Baum, the ICE/ERO San Antonio Field Office issued the following statement:

'The health, welfare and safety of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees is one of the agency’s highest priorities. Since the onset of reports of COVID-19, ICE epidemiologists have been tracking the outbreak, regularly updating infection prevention and control protocols and issuing guidance to ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) staff for the screening and management of potential exposure among detainees. Currently, there are no detainees in T. Don Hutto Residential Center custody with confirmed COVID-19.

ICE continues to incorporate the Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 guidance, which is built upon the already established infectious disease monitoring and management protocols currently in use by the agency. In addition, ICE is actively working with state and local health partners to determine if any detainee requires additional testing or monitoring to combat the spread of the virus.'"

WATCH: Protecting Texas inmates from COVID-19

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