Last week, 80 mothers detained in the Karnes County family detention facility with their children embarked on a fast to protest their detention, and bring awareness to the conditions that they face inside the facility. Read their letter here. For a translated version, click here. Here is a recap of a few things that you might have missed:
- ICE officials denied awareness of the hunger strike but at the same time said that the agency was investigating whether a visitor from a nonprofit group had encouraged the women to begin the strike.
- Despite GEO’s statement that it “provides high quality care in a safe, clean, and family friendly environment” reports began to surface that mothers on strike were being retaliated against by putting them in isolation. Reportedly, isolation rooms involved sensory deprivation for both mothers and children, as well as threats that the families would be separated.
- An outpouring of support rapidly began to emerge on social media, particularly on #EndFamilyDetention and #KarnesMoms. During the fast, nightly vigils were held outside of the facility, and many people supported the mothers by fasting over the weekend. More than 1,000 people signed our petition to free the families.