Aug 6, 2018
On Thursday, August 2, about 50 fathers at a jail for immigrants in South Texas, disingenuously called Karnes County Residential Center, protested and started a hunger strike, according to an immigrant rights group. They are protesting that, after having finally been reunited with their children, they are now being held indefinitely, with no indication of when they might be released or deported.
More than 500 families are in these jails. They don’t know what will happen to them, and they don’t know when their cases might be decided. The government is denying them access to asylum officers, which are like lawyers for people applying for asylum, and it is not telling them what’s going on.
One Honduran man described the hopelessness of their situation: “my son cries every day, he doesn’t want to eat, he’s very worried, and he’s only six years old. What worries me is that we are restrained from our freedom as human beings.”
Another father reported that he had agreed to sign deportation papers and to give up his asylum request in order to be with his son again. He said that ICE told him he would be reunited with his son at the airport when he was deported to Guatemala. But after spending time in 5 different ICE jails and being separated from his son for eight weeks – they are still in a detention facility, with no end in sight.
ICE denies there is a hunger strike and claims that the detention facilities are “more like a summer camp.” After all the pictures and videos that have leaked out, this statement is utterly ridiculous. It is another example of the Trump administration flaunting its bold brutality to score political points with its reactionary base. These immigrant families are being put through an unending ordeal, all in order to help Trump’s popularity ratings and reinforce the anti-human and nationalist attitudes among a section of the population.