Hunger Strike at the Port Isabel Detention Center

Southwest Workers' Union        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       January 18, 2010

Indefinite Hunger Strike at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Bayview, TX:
Began On National Day of Action Against Sherriff Arpaio,
The Hunger Strike grows in Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.”- MLK, Jr.


On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 18, 2010, immigrants at the Port Isabel Detention Center called the Southwest Workers’ Union to notify the public that they (70 detainees) were on Indefinite Hunger Strike since Saturday January 16, 2010, the National Day of Action Against Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ.

Although retaliation of Hunger Strikers is certain, the strike grew yesterday in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream for a world where Justice and Human Rights for everyone, including immigrants, is possible.
 Solidarity with the People of Haiti in their time of greatest need
 Solidarity with Comprehensive Immigration Reform
 Solidarity with the Fast For Our Families in Miami, Florida and Jean Montrevil and his family in New York
 Solidarity with the March against Sherriff Arpaio and against his abuse of authority and militarization of the US-Mexico border
 Respect Human Rights

1. Suspend the detention and deportation of immigrants with U.S. citizen children, spouses, and immigrant students until there is resolution on the passage of comprehensive immigration reform;
2. Work permits for immigrants with U.S. citizen children and spouses whose detention and deportation have been suspended until there is resolution in Congress on the passage of immigration reform;
3. Creation of an honest, transparent process by which the best interests of communities, families, and children are weighed before detaining and deporting any individual
4. The right to Due Process
5. End the abuse of Human Rights in detention (lack of medical access, indefinite detention, inadequate food, physical and verbal abuse)
6. End the unjust deportation
7. End raids on immigrant communities

They released their statement by calling Southwest Workers’ Union to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. The Dream Dr. King had begins with breaking the silence. Because as Dr. King said, “there comes a time when silence is also a betrayal.” According to detainees their struggle is the same as all the immigrants and people.