In Connecticut, longtime U.S. resident Salma Sikandar has won asylum, months after her husband led a hunger strike in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Hartford, Connecticut, to protest her deportation. Sikandar has lived in the United States for nearly 20 years. But in June she was abruptly told by Immigration and Customs Enforcement that she had to leave the country by August. This is Sikandar’s son, Samir Mahmud, explaining how his father decided to launch the hunger strike.
Samir Mahmud: “So, what happened was my dad had a bunch of crazy ideas, because he was losing his mind, to be honest, because of the deportation. He was going to lose the love of his life, and he was going to lose my mother. So, he thought of having a hunger strike in front of Hartford, in front of ICE’s building, where if they look out the window, they see us, for the next 43 hours, until the deportation date/time. And so, the hunger strike was led in front of ICE. There were about nine other individuals who joined. Then, over hundreds of people joined us, from the South Windsor mayor to the Manchester mayor.”