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Iraqi Detainees in Detroit Are On Hunger Strike

Detroit Water Front
Reginald Hardwick
/
WKAR Public Media
City of Detroit

There are reports from family members and the ACLU that as many as 50 Iraqi immigrants who are being detained while they fight deportation are engaged in a hunger strike. Many of the detainees are from metro Detroit and are being held at a federal facility in Youngstown-Ohio.Ashourina  Slewo’s father is being held at the facility. She said the detainees want to be released to their families while their cases are argued.

"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. 

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement says seven detainees have been placed on medical watch after going without eating for 72 hours.

The ACLU says the detention far from their families poses a needless hardship, and makes it harder for the immigrants to consult with their attorneys. Many have been in custody for months.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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