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The agency is pursuing contracts with private detention providers to circumvent state and local efforts to curtail and regulate immigrant detention.

After months of sustained pressure, immigrants’ rights activists clinched a major victory in Williamson County, Texas, in June 2018. In a room packed with local organizers, the county commission voted to terminate contracts with ICE and CoreCivic—the second-largest private detention company in the country—which together held 500 women in detention at the nearby T. Don Hutto Residential Center.

Yet the center didn’t close. ICE simply cut the local government out of the equation and signed a short-term contract directly with CoreCivic to keep the detention center open. It sought to lock in long-term control over the center and two other Texas detention centers by posting solicitations for 10-year private contracts.

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