Laws and ethics surrounding immigration and imprisonment remain at the forefront of American politics.

This film explores the social and psychological impact of such policies, and it asks “to what extent Uncle Sam will punish kids for the sins of their parents, even if that sin is wanting to be an American.” (Will Coviello, BestofNewOrleans)

“A stirring peek inside one of the most divisive issues facing the country” – Peter Martin, Cinematical

THE LEAST OF THESE takes a penetrating look at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a former medium-security prison that re-opened in 2006 as a prototype family detention center.

The facility houses immigrant children and their parents from all over the world who are awaiting asylum hearings or deportation proceedings. As information about troubling conditions at the facility began to leak out, activist attorneys sought to investigate and address the issues. In telling the story of their quest, the film explores the role (and limits) of community and legal activism in bringing about change. The film leads viewers to consider how core American rights and values – protection of children, presumption of innocence, upholding the family structure as the basic unit of civil society, and America as a refuge of last resort – should apply to immigrants, particularly children.

Soundtrack featuring EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY!


  • SXSW Film Festival (Austin, United States)
  • Center for American Progress – Reel Progress Film Series (Washington DC)
  • Cine Las Americas Film Festival (Austin, United States)
  • Maryland Film Festival (Baltimore, United States)
  • New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival (New Orleans, United States)
  • New York Latino International Film Festival (New York, United States)
  • Washington DC International Film Festival (Washington DC)


All New Epilogue: “The End of Family Detention at Hutto” updates viewers after President Obama’s announcement that the government will stop sending families to Hutto. Short Film: Breakthrough’s “Restore Fairness” , Deleted Scenes: The Role of Private Prison Companies in Immigration Detention, The Yourdkhanis in Canada, April 2007 Protest at T. Don Hutto, December 2007 Protest at T. Don Hutto, Excerpts from SXSW Panel Discussion: Connecting to Audiences that Care, Festival Q&A Excerpts, Center for American Progress – Filmmaker Interview, Trailer


If you need information about a detainee that is housed at this facility, you may call (512) 218-2400 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. When you call, please have the individual’s biographical information ready, including first, last and hyphenated names, any aliases he or she may use, date of birth and country of birth.

Detainees cannot receive incoming calls. If you need to get in touch with a detainee to leave an urgent message, you must call (512) 218-2400 and leave the detainee’s full name, alien registration number and your name and telephone number where you can be reached. The detainee will be given your message.

62 minutes on 1 disc / English and Spanish w/English subtitles / A film by Jesse Lyda and Clark Lyda / 2009


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In-home/personal use copies are available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eTPiXa