As a hunger strike inside the Hutto immigrant detention center in Taylor, Texas spreads throughout the facility, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are ramping up retaliation and abuse against women participating in the protest.
Reports emerged from inside Hutto this afternoon that at least six more women who are participating in the hunger strike are being rounded up for transfer inside the facility, even as ICE continues to deny that women are on strike. Demand that all retaliation against women on hunger strike stop and that all women on hunger strike are immediately released.
Three women have already been targeted for individual retaliation: one woman was put in solitary confinement in Hutto and two were transferred to a majority men’s facility in South Texas, where at least one is being held in solitary confinement conditions.
We need to make it clear that this retaliation is not acceptable. Will you make a call to release the three women who have been targeted?
Who to call:
National DHS office: Leave a message for Esther Olavarria, 202-732-3000
Local field office: Enrique Lucero, (210) 283-4711
What to say:
“I’m calling to request that the the three women who have faced retaliation for their participation in the hunger strike, Insis Maribel Zelaya Bernardez (A#206872250), Francisca Morales Macias (A#098652351), and A.A.L. (A#206715851) be released on parole immediately.”
Who has faced retaliation:
Insis, a Honduran Garífuna woman who is fleeing domestic violence and gang violence, has been in detention for 10 months and was placed in solitary confinement in a freezing room from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening in retaliation for her participation in the hunger strike. She suffers from sickle cell anemia, as well as other serious medical conditions, and has fainted three times while in the detention center. Detention is not a safe place for someone with such serious medical conditions, so I ask that Insis be released to join her sister in the U.S. and begin to recover from the trauma she has experienced.
Francisca, a woman from Mexico who is a survivor of domestic violence and has been in detention for 7 months, was moved to the mostly male South Texas Detention Complex on Monday in retaliation for her participation in the hunger strike. She is reportedly being detained there in solitary confinement. She has two Dreamer children, a legal resident husband, and other family members with legal status in the U.S. It is an injustice that a woman who has suffered so much is being separated from her family who legally reside in the U.S., and I ask that she be released immediately to join her family.
A.A.L., a woman from Honduras who is a survivor of domestic violence and has been in detention for more than 6 months, was transferred on Monday to the mostly male South Texas Detention Complex in retaliation for her vital role in the hunger strike. She also has family who reside in the U.S., with an uncle ready to care for her upon release. I ask that she be released to her family immediately.