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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement faces lawsuit

Charleston residents, along with the rest of that nation has been following closely immigration reform in the White House. Some individuals are tired of waiting. Recently, hundreds of detainees at a detention center in the northwest decided to go on a hunger strike causing problems for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

In March on two separate occasions, detainees decided to go on a hunger strike in protest of the conditions they were facing at a detention center. As a result of this strike, the U.S. ICE allegedly retaliated against the detainees who participated in the strike by placing them in solitary confinement. It is reported that 20 people have been placed in solitary.

The American Civil Liberties Union, as well as Columbia Legal Services has taken on the case by detainees and have sought a restraining order from a federal judge that would require the immediate suspension of placing the detainees in solitary confinement.

The argument on the side of the detainees is the hunger-striking is free speech and protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. The U.S. ICE, on the other hand claims that they simply separated some detainees from the rest of the population to stop them from pressuring the other detainees to participate in the strike.

Detainees in immigration detention centers can face deplorable conditions including inadequate medical and health care. It is imperative that those who are facing deportation and are placed in a detainee center understand that they have a right to due process. Every individual has a right to a deportation defense and a chance to have witnesses testify on one's behalf. The individual facing deportation may also have grounds to challenge the deportation itself on either procedural or constitutional grounds.

Source: FOX News, "Groups sue feds, claiming retaliation against hunger strikers at Washington detention center," April 3, 2014

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