Humpday Hall of Shame: ICE Retaliates against Hunger Strikers

Just when we thought Immigration and Customs Enforcement couldn't stoop any lower, they pulled another sick stunt. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are retaliating against men on hunger strike at the Joe Corley Detention Center in Conroe, Texas. Men detained at the facility have been on hunger strike since March 18, demanding better medical care, commissary prices, and a stop to deportations. One hundred and twenty men are said to be on hunger strike at the facility as of 

March 20, following in the footsteps of strikers at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. Rep. Adam Smith (D-9) was also appalled by the conditions within the Tacoma facility. Both facilities are owned by the GEO Group, a private prison corporation based in Boca Raton, Florida.  

 


Strikers in Tacoma, WA and Conroe, TX have been placed in solitary confinement for their participation in the strike. Sandra Bonilla, wife of Ruben Rodriguez, one of the men on hunger strike at Joe Corley, claims that of the eight men who shared a cell with Ruben, four have been removed and no one will disclose where they have been taken. ICE is also allegedly asking that other strikers sign voluntary deportation papers. 

Adelina Caceres, fiancee of David Vasquez, who is on hunger strike, was also denied visitation on the morning of March 20. ICE continues to maintain that there is no hunger strike at Joe Corley, even though lawyers and family members have confirmed the strike. Adelina says of her experience:

I am concerned for my husband's safety.  The detainees are hunger striking because of the already cruel conditions at the detention center but now they're being punished for being whistleblowers. If the President is doing a review, he should start with my husband's case and the demands of the hunger strikers.
Additional information can be found in Rumbo's coverage of the strike and subsequent vigils held in support of the men at Joe Corley. 
 
So, not only is ICE detaining these men for profit, they are being punished for demanding they be treated like human beings. What's more, ICE has the gall to refuse to acknowledge that these men are standing up to them. They're inhumane and in denial! Stay classy, ICE.