In New Mexico, immigrant justice organizations report a group of asylum seekers held at the Torrance County Detention Facility have been on hunger strike since last week, protesting inhumane and unsanitary conditions. The asylum seekers are denouncing chronic medical neglect, inedible food and horrific abuse at Torrance, which is run by the private prison corporation CoreCivic. Demands are mounting to shut down the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center following the August death by suicide of 23-year-old Kesley Vial, an asylum seeker from Brazil. This is Orlando de los Santos, a hunger striker and asylum seeker from the Dominican Republic who has been detained at Torrance since July.
Orlando de los Santos: “We are demanding our freedom. No more deportations. We demand to be treated equal and to be released. No human being should be detained here. We are being abused by ICE guards and by the guards working at this detention center. When it rains, my cell floods with water. It’s full of mosquitoes. And the food they serve us is often raw.”