Manuel Martinez-Arambula spent his childhood, adolescence, and formative years in the United States, calling this place home since he was 8 years old. Manuel’s daughter imagined celebrating her daddy’s 50th birthday at home with her. She imagined making him a homemade birthday card that he would cherish. Instead, she will be urging ICE to stop her father from being deported on his 50th birthday!
Going into his 16th day of hunger strike, Manuel Martinez-Arambula stated 10 days ago, on March 22, 2014, that “I don’t want them to deport me and separate me from my family. What they might accomplish is to remove me, but it will be in a black bag.” On the same day, Manuel’s wife revealed that detention officials brought Manuel out with both chained hands and feet to visit with his wife and daughter. ICE has already deported 15 hunger strikers as an extreme retaliation tactic. They are now targeting Manuel.
The deplorable treatment ICE and GEO Group has inflicted upon Manuel has had a devastating impact upon his daughter Melany. Her mother states that her daughter no longer enjoys the activities she once did. Although she was typically sociable, she has kept to herself ever since her father Manuel has been detained and separated from her family. Her mother says that her daughter is a different person now and the only way she will go back to being the Melany she knows is being reunited with her father.
In addition, ICE has placed Manuel and others in solitary confinement a number of times as punishment for being on peaceful hunger strike. This retaliation tactic is one of many that ICE has employed against hunger strikers who have blown the whistle on mistreatment and deportations. Brave hunger strikers like Manuel continue to go without food for the sake of advocating their demands to stop inhumane conditions, unjust deportations, and unnecessary local law enforcement collaboration with ICE.
Happy Birthday, Manuel.