EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — Immigration advocates are demanding the release of a detained hunger striker in El Paso who was subject to force-feeding, according to migrant advocates.
Advocates gathered at Las Americas Immigration Center on East Yandell Thursday demanding the release of Jasvir Singh. They said he has been detained at the El Paso Service Processing Center and has been on a hunger strike for 77 days.
“He knows that he faces certain death if he continues to strike and he knows that he also faces death if he’s deported back to his home country,” said Linda Rivas, the executive director of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center.
“He is trying to demand his release so that he is able to fight his asylum case from outside of detention,” she said, ensuring due process.
Rivas said Singh is one of the last people who continues to strike and has been subject to force-feeding, solitary confinement, and has reported instances of physical and verbal abuse.
“It doesn’t matter where you stand on the political spectrum,” Rivas said, “we should be appalled and horrified at the torture that these people were subjected to in the way that they were force-fed.”
The Washington Post stated beside El Paso, there have also been hunger strikes in Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, and San Francisco.
“They go to the extreme of having to hunger strike in order for them to be heard,” Rivas said, “because they’ve been in detention for several months and often times they will be there over a year.”
Rivas continues, “They have viable asylum claims and they are still not released and they are subjected to abuse.”
The Washington Post reported a statement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), saying “ICE does not retaliate in any way against hunger strikers,” and that ICE “closely monitors the food and water intake of those detainees identified as being on a hunger strike.”
After the meeting, the groups submitted a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, calling for the release of asylum seekers on hunger strike at the El Paso Processing Center.
They’re also calling for an investigation into the facility.