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Iraqi Detainees in Detroit Are On Hunger Strike

Iraqi Detainees in Detroit Are On Hunger Strike”

Dozens of Iraqi and Kurdish immigrants detained in the United States have gone on a hunger strike to protest unfair treatment by immigration authorities, according to a court filing on Friday.

More than 1,400 Iraqis have removal orders, of whom 288 had been arrested.

Most of the immigrants had come to the USA legally but committed crimes which violated the terms of their visas, authorities said. "Several other detainees have been randomly refusing the facility's prepared meals over the last several days and are being monitored by facility staff". Family members and the ACLU say it might be as many as 50.

"The number of individuals participating in the strike can fluctuate at any time as facility staff witnesses detainees ending their hunger strike or reaching the 72-hour threshold", Walls explained.

Abdelmasih said ICE is arguing that the detainees are a threat to society, but the truth is that the immigrants have atoned for their past offences and started businesses and families. The U.S. government has recommended deportation for those detainees because they committed crimes.

"Right now, with this hunger strike, what they're demanding - and I don't think this is an unreasonable demand - what they want is to be able to come home and fight their cases from out here", said Slewo.

"We are incredibly concerned about their health and their treatment", Rana Elmir, ACLU of MI deputy director, told MEE.

Rana Elmir, the deputy director of ACLU Michigan, said the court filing demanded that those detained who agreed to voluntary deportation were entitled to an attorney. "It makes absolutely no sense".

"There's such a financial burden on the families out here because they are there".

Abdelsamih said detainees, including his brother, want to be released "so they can work on their cases from the outside".

Andryan Abdelsamih, for example, ran the family business.



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