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The T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, is the only detention facility in the United States that detains infants and teenagers for the crimes of their parents. A converted prison that still maintains many of its medium-security trappings, Hutto holds illegal immigrant families while they await asylum hearings or deportation. The Least of These documents the efforts of the ACLU, the Women’s Refugee Commission, and the University of Texas’ Barbara Hines to expose and reform the conditions in the Hutto Center: Entire families were forced to live in two-person cells crowded by cribs and unclean toilets; small children received only one hour of education per day and 10 minutes of outdoor time—which they were forced to spend sitting quietly in a grassy field while unused playground equipment (purchased by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials to improve the facility’s image) beckoned from just yards away. Testimonials from immigrant advocates are cut with interviews of formerly detained families and segments from Fox News, in which Bill O’Reilly and former Department of Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff assure each other that incarcerating entire families is all part of preserving the American Dream.
Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. Attorney Michelle Brané will appear.