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Support striking women detained in the Karnes immigration detention center

This week women held at the infamous Karnes detention center — one of the facilities, run by for-profit prison corporations, where migrant women and their children are being held in deplorable conditions while seeking asylum — went on strike, demanding their release. In their letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), they write:

We have come to this country, with our children, seeking refugee status and we are being treated like delinquents. We are not delinquents nor do we pose any threat to this country. During this Hunger Strike, no mother will work in the center of detention, nor will we send our children to school, nor will we use any service provided by this place until we have been heard and approved: we want our FREEDOM.

Asylum Officials have conducted Credible Fear Interviews and determined them to be Positive. Even after having a result of positive, we are still detained because we are not able to pay the elevated bond and in some cases we are not given the opportunity to pay the bond.

You should know that this is only the beginning and we will not stop until we achieve our objectives. This strike will continue until every one of us is freed.

You can read their full statement here.

Over at Colorlines, Aura Bogado documents the conditions at The Karnes County Residential Center, including exploited labor, contaminated drinking water, and limited legal aid worker access. An investigation into sexual abuse allegations ultimately did not find enough evidence to support the claims but, as Bogado points out, “That conclusion is based on interviews with guards and current detainees, including those who fear deportation if they report abuse to authorities.”

The mothers on strike report that, “The conditions, in which our children find themselves, are not good. Our children are not eating well and every day they are losing weight. Their health is deteriorating. We know that any mother would do what we are doing for their children.”

Support the women by signing this petition to ICE director Sarah Saldaña and ICE San Antonio Office Director Norma Lacy.

Header image: Colorlines

New Haven, CT

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and the co-founder of Know Your IX, the national youth-led organization working to end gender violence in schools. She's testified before Congress on Title IX policy and legislative reform, and her writing has appeared in a number of outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She's also a student at Yale Law School, and you can find her on Twitter at @danabolger.

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and a student at Yale Law School.

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