October 25, 2020

Report: Immigrants detained in Mississippi start hunger strike

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement inmates housed at the Adams County Correctional Facility, located east of Natchez on U.S. 84, are on the verge of a hunger strike, The Clarion Ledger reported on its website Wednesday afternoon.

The Clarion Ledger reports that a Jackson Electrician and native of Mexico who had lived and worked in the United States for 13 years had been transported to multiple ICE facilities in Mississippi and Louisiana over the last seven months before arriving at the Adams County Correctional Facility on Sunday.

On Tuesday, he and several other ICE detainees decided to go on a hunger strike at the facility in protest of poor conditions while some inmates lacked essentials such as medical attention, soap and toothpaste and shampoo, The Clarion Ledger reports.

The Clarion-Ledger said the hunger protest had not yet met the ICE definition of a hunger strike, as defined in a linked Associated Press story: “ICE, which defines a hunger strike as someone rejecting nine consecutive meals…”

ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox told The Clarion Ledger that the protest could develop into one of two strikes at ICE facilities in the Southeast.

Seven people are on a hunger strike at a facility in Louisiana, Cox told The Clarion Ledger.

CoreCivic, which owns and operates the facility in Adams County, recently began housing inmates for ICE while their 10-year contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons is set to expire at the end of this month.

A spokesperson for CoreCivic could not be reached for comment for this story.