Mothers on Hunger Strike Against Detention in Berks, Pa.

22 refugee women on liquid-only fast.

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Protesters outside Berks family detention.
Protesters outside Berks family detention.

ThinkProgress reports that 22 mothers in immigration detention in Berks County, Pa. are on a hunger strike. The women, who escaped violence in Central America, have been detained for many months while pursuing the legal process to obtain status in the United States. Although the detention centers are supposed to hold immigrants for a short time, many have become long-term prisons for refugees.

ThinkProgress reprinted sections of a statement from the mothers explaining their strike; “As a result of the silence and lack of action by the federal government, yesterday we resumed the strike…During this strike we will not receive any food, but we will keep hydrated to preserve enough energy and health to keep fighting for our freedom and care for our children.”

“These women and young children fled for their lives,” Lee Gelernt, the deputy director of the ACLU, told ThinkProgress, adding “They should not be viewed as criminals.”


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