Nearly 100 immigrant women have gone on a hunger strike in an attempt to be granted release from the Hutto, Texas detention center. Their efforts are aimed at drawing attention to the challenging living conditions at the facility.
The strike began with twenty-seven women on October 28th.
According to Cristina Parker of Grassroots Leadership, an organization that advocates for the release of detained immigrants, the women are mostly from Mexico and Central America and are being detained while their asylum claims are being investigated.
The detainees have decided to begin taking turns after nearly two weeks on strike. The women intend to strike in three shifts, coordinated between their cells.
“We want to prevent reprisals (by doing this),” said Parker, adding that six of the women who began the protest have been transferred to other centers in the state, four to Laredo and two to Pearsall, near San Antonio.
The Hutto facility isn’t the only detention center experiencing strikes. Facilities in El Paso, Texas, La Salle, Louisiana and California have experienced similar activity.
“The protests are connected, inspired by each other, but there is no communication, they are not coordinated. This makes one think they are growing,” explained Parker.
The asylum application process can take months or even years in certain cases. During this time, women are likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or severe anxiety.
Source: “Nearly 100 women held in Texas immigration detention center on hunger strike,” Fox News Latino, November 10th, 2015.