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3 NYC Area ICE Detention Centers Report Immigrant Detainees on Hunger Strikes

Immigrant detainees protesting dangerously unhealthy living conditions have gone on a hunger strike in three New Jersey-based ICE detention centers amidst the growing concern of COVID-19 infection among the population, hoping to bring attention to a situation ICE is struggling to control, as reported by VICE.

This week, a medical worker test positive for COVID-19 at the Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey, stoking fears of an outbreak in the closed, unsanitary conditions of the jail. In response, detainees are refusing meals.

“They’re not taking any measures to protect us,” said a detainee at the facility, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. “They haven’t done any cleaning. We spent three days without soap.”

“There’s a lot of fear, because if they bring in an infected person, we’re all going to get infected,” he continued.

NYC defender organizations are pressing ICE to prioritize the release of prisoners who’s underlying health conditions might make them especially vulnerable to the virus, in an attempt to reduce its spread and save lives.