Immigrant detainees launch hunger strike over conditions

The Associated Press reports

A group of detainees at a Louisiana immigration detention center have begun three-day hunger strikes to protest poor conditions there, immigrant advocates said.

The news comes just days after Department of Homeland Security officials dismissed a report critical of conditions at its immigration holding centers nationwide.

About 100 detainees contributed to a report released Thursday by the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, claiming bleak conditions at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement lockup in Basile, La., 183 miles northwest of New Orleans.

The hunger strike comes in the same week that another report by the Immigration Law Center says the rights of immigrant detainees are violated in a routine and systematic fashion. The report, “A Broken System,” is based on 18,000 pages of previously confidential ICE, ABA, and UNHCR reviews of detention centers.

At the same time, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights says that despite some positive recent adjustments to the immigration detention system in the U.S., many men, women and children detained in those facilities are held in unacceptable conditions, and the right of these persons to due process remains, in many cases, compromised.

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