El Paso, Texas, and Conroe, Texas, respectively, have both recently been sites for immigrant detainees going on hunger strikes. In two unrelated stories, immigrants wanting asylum and being detained for indeterminate amounts of time have resorted to hunger strikes. The strike in Conroe is aimed at demanding immigration detention center reform.
“The El Paso strike came just weeks after separate and unrelated hunger strikes at immigrant detention centers run by the private corporation GEO Group in Tacoma, Washington, and Conroe, Texas. With no movement in Congress on immigration reform and a growing number of immigrant detention facilities, families have become increasingly desperate to see their relatives released. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security held a record-breaking 429,000 immigrants in more than 250 facilities across the country, even though a majority of the cases didn’t warrant detention, according to the ACLU.”
The hunger strike has ended at a federal immigrant detention center in El Paso, but at least 37 men from northern India say they are still being wrongfully detained after requesting political asylum in the United States nearly a year ago.
The men started their hunger strike to protest their continued detention, Lawit says. The men began the strike on April 8 and ended it April 21 after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents promised to facilitate their release, Lawit says. But the agency has yet to make good on its promise, Lawit says. “There’s a very strong chance that there could be another hunger strike,” he says. ICE wouldn’t comment on specifics of the case.”
These Hunger Strikes are a recurring thing, like the one that happened in 2009 in Los Fresnos, TX.