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Immigrants across the nations are launching hunger strikes to highlight the conditions they face at various detention facilities.
Earlier today, PRI reported on how 500 women set for deportation at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Liberty, Texas joiuned similar protests that took place in detention centers at El Paso, Texas, and LaSalle, Louisiana.
Below excerpt of a letter from a detainee at the T. Don Hutton facility, which PRI included in their report:
“There are grave injustices being committed — detentions spanning eight months, 10 months, a year, a year and a half,” Magdrola, a detainee from Guatemala, wrote in a letter. “In the end, we are being told we have no rights and will be deported, with offensive words and gestures that make us feel worthless.”
The women are highlighting the arbitrary nature of how bonds are placed on them, which PRI reports range from $1,000 to $30,000; along with the unreasonable length of their detention.
Meanwhile, in California, 20 detainees housed at the Adelanto Detention Facility have launched their own hunger strike to protest how they are treated by staff, the type of meals they receive, and how complaints are within the detention facility.
In a three-page, hand-written note obtained by ThinkProgress, the hunger strikers call on the GEO Group staff to provide them with better medical and dental care, to offer better food, and to treat them with respect. The detainees say they should have clean, hot main course meals instead of slices of cold turkey. They also suggest that they should be able to lodge complaints with a grievance coordinator who does not work for the GEO corporation.
“We are detainees and not prisoners,” the letter reads, in part. “We are humans who have the misfortune of being detained. We also respectfully and humbly ask that no retaliation be taken upon any of us detained here in Adelanto by any GEO or ICE staff in our right to unite for a common cause and to protect one another in our peacefull [sic] protest and demonstration.”
In their reporting, Think Progress stresses the amounts of complaints that have surfaced from the Adelanto Detention Facility, and note that California is the latest state to see hunger strikes within immigration detention facilities.
While the hunger strikes at the facilities in La Salle and El Paso have already concluded, this type of actions serve as a reminder of another of the immigration debate – something that the Clinton, Sanders, and O’Malley campaigns have already weighed in on due to pressure from immigrant rights activists.