EL PASO, TX, USA—An online petition has been started seeking release of forty Punjabi men who have been detained in El Paso, TX. These men entered Texas illegally, in hopes of securing political asylum. They claim that they are members of a peaceful political group. As per the website for “18 Million Rising”, these men have been “trapped for months in Texas at the El Paso Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center.1. Despite proving their identities, and certifying their reasons for asylum, they have been detained indefinitely by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department (ICE), the long arm of Homeland Security.”
These men have been forced to undergo a hunger strike until they are released. ICE is legally bound to release detainees as soon as they have proven their true identities, and reasons for seeking asylum in the United States.
The petition further states:
We can’t tell the world that the United States is a nation committed to justice when we turn away those who are most in need of our government’s protection. When did imprisoning asylees for months at a time become the way we “protect” those who flee their home countries out of fear, starvation, or persecution?
We refuse to stand by as ICE as Homeland Security continues to break their own rules, and violate human rights. We know that already two hunger strikers have been hospitalized, and many others are in danger. And we’ve also learned that ICE is on the verge of force feeding striking detainees, a practice that the United Nations has called “torture.”
We choose to raise our voices on behalf of those whose voices are being systematically silenced. And we are determined to fight for the release of these unlawfully detained asylum seekers.
Please click here to sign the petition.