Detainees being held inside this country’s infamous detention centers are on hunger strike demanding their immediate release and an end to deportations. The hunger strike started on the week of Thanksgiving and quickly spread throughout five other detention centers across the South. These coordinated actions only show the level of desperation immigrant detainees endure at the hands of the repressive immigration authorities. They are willing to put their health at risk in order to fight for freedom for themselves and their comrades locked in these facilities.
Many of these immigrants are fleeing violence in their home countries. However, this matters little to the agents of US immigration enforcement. The guards inside the detention centers have tried to crush this act of resistance by the detainees. Some have been put in solitary confinement, which is a form of torture, in order to deter other detainees from joining the strike. There have been reports of detention officer brutally trying to insert a catheter in one detainee who joined the strike. These acts show that state has no regard for the lives of immigrants but instead sees them as a population it needs to contain and subjugate with violence.
The City University of New York is complicit in the oppression suffered by immigrants for among the list of corporate investments CUNY makes are companies like the GeoGroup and Corrections Corporations of America. These two companies are the biggest builders of private detention centers in the country, using government contracts where they charge for the amount of beds they fill. In turn, ICE will fulfill these companies’ bed quotas by coming into our communities and picking out our people through programs like Secure Communities and making cities honor their immigration detainers.
The immigration system in the US is not only a system that needs fixing, but in the same way as the police, and the army, it is designed to carry out oppression of our communities. In the same way the US army is sent to suppress our people in our native countries, in order to subjugate them under the rule of US imperialism, the threat of ICE coming to our houses and deporting our families keeps our communities as submissive workers for their service economy. At the same time, the US immigration system locks up children, mothers and other immigrants looking for safety inside damp, cold detention centers so that they can them be expelled without regard for their lives.
We stand in solidarity with the hunger strikes and demand freedom to all the detainees being held in private detention centers. We demand all detention centers to be closed down and an end to all immigrant detentions and deportations. It is imperative to build in our communities in order to dismantle the deportation machine of the US to the point ICE is afraid to come to our hoods looking for people. We must make sure that no school or university is actively investing in the oppression of our communities.
Freedom to all immigrant detainees!
Shut down all detention centers and private prisons!