FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 9, 2019
Media contact: Sofia Casini email@example.com and 512-967-1796
MEDIA ADVISORY: Families of Detained Immigrants on Hunger Strike in Louisiana Organize Protest Against ICE
Over 20 men continue hunger strike for over a week after being subjected to excessive force, retaliation inside ICE detention
NEW ORLEANS — Over 50 family members of dozens of men on hunger strike in Louisiana immigration detention facilities will be gathering in New Orleans on Monday, August 12, at 8 am in front of the ICE Field Office to protest their indefinite and abusive detention.
The protest comes amid the largest workplace raid under the Trump administration in Mississippi; nearly 400 individuals of those detained were sent to Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center, the site of an ongoing hunger strike, and the LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Louisiana, as well as Adams County in Mississippi, according to a BuzzFeed report. In less than a year, detention has expanded rapidly in the state of Louisiana. Over 10 new immigrant detention jails and prisons have opened up, the majority run by private prison companies.
About the protest:
What: “Cubanos Detenidos Louisiana” Protesta Pacifica ICE
Who: Family members and loved ones of men on hunger strike
Where: ICE Field Office, 1250 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70113
When: Monday, August 12 at 8 am
“There is clear evidence that detained immigrants are being subjected to an abusive environment and that ICE continues to lie to the public about what is happening inside these prisons,” said Sofia Casini, Southern Regional Coordinator with Freedom for Immigrants. “Why are people categorically being denied release throughout Louisiana when they are parole and bond eligible, with families ready to love and support them? It’s pure profit motive and further evidence of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda. We demand that ICE immediately release the men to their families and communities.”
“We are demanding that their rights be respected. Why no parole? Why no bond? They have mothers, siblings, wives, children and friends who will take care of them. They will not be a public charge. They all come from professional backgrounds. They are doctors, engineers, electricians. They are well educated. They have not committed any crimes, “ said Yanet Diaz, whose nephew Lisvani Perez Serrano was transferred from Mississippi to Louisiana. “Their rights are being violated. They’ve faced mistreatment and been beaten just to be heard and to be freed, whether under parole with ankle monitors or with a bond. Their parole has been approved and they’ve passed their credible fear interviews. So why is this happening? Is it because of those judges who abuse their authority or who are racist? We demand freedom for all them. Our voices will be heard because when people come together, they can achieve anything. Their mothers, children, friends — we will all be there to support them because they are not alone in this fight.”
A week ago, the 115 immigrants who went on hunger strike at the Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center were tear gassed, shot at with rubber bullets, beaten, placed in solitary confinement, and blocked from contacting their families or attorneys. The same week, a group of immigrants went on hunger strike at the Bossier (Parish) Sheriff Medium Security Facility. Detention center staff retaliated against these individuals with beatings and pepper-spray.