EL PASO, Texas – The ACLU of Texas sent a letter of support in favor of three asylum seekers currently participating in a hunger strike while under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the El Paso Processing Center. The ACLU of Texas sent the letter upon learning that ICE was threatening to force-feed these individuals if they did not end their hunger strike. The letter is addressed to the ICE Field Office Director in El Paso.
Bernardo Rafael Cruz, Immigrants’ Rights Fellow for the ACLU of Texas, had the following reaction:
“Hunger strikes are often the only form of expressive conduct that a detained person has available to protest their conditions and the fact of their detention. Coercing an individual to end their hunger strike through force-feeding violates that person’s free speech rights, and therefore raises significant constitutional concerns. There is nothing humane or ethical about restraining an individual and forcing a tube down their throat. ICE must end this cruel, inhumane process.”