Refused asylum, three Indians on hunger strike in US
At least three men from India are reportedly on hunger strike at a detention facility for undocumented migrants in Texas demanding a review of their pleas for asylum after being turned down and a court has ordered that they be forced fed.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has confirmed to AP news agency that there are detainees on hunger strike at its El Paso, Texas and Otero New Mexico facilities. Spokesperson Timothy Oberle told the news agency, “All ten ICE detainees have missed at least nine consecutive meals, triggering ICE hunger-strike protocols.”
“The ICE Health Services Corps is medically monitoring the detainees’ health and regularly updating ICE of their medical status. Efforts are being taken to protect the detainees’ health and privacy.”
An El Paso attorney who is representing three of the men told the news agency they are protesting “prolonged detention and what they believe were biased and discriminatory practices by the immigration court toward their cases” She has also said that three men hav been in custody for months, one of them for more than a year. Their pleas for asylum had been rejected, and they are marked for deportation. One Indian was deported on the eighth day of his hunger strike.
Not much else could be ascertained about the men, and where they came from. Responses were awaited from the attorney and ICE.
Indians mostly from Punjab and some from Gujarat have been showing up the southern and south-western border of the United States seeking asylum for some years now. More than 110 of them were in different detention facilities at one in June 2018. Around 480 of them were granted asylum in 2016, according to official statistics and the rest, whose numbers could not be ascertained were sent back.