We need to talk about the infuriating situation at two for-profit ICE detention centers in the Central Valley, where dozens of detainees are on a weeks-long hunger strike to protest inhumane conditions.
The hunger strikers are protesting treatment by the GEO Group, the for-profit corporation making millions of dollars by running these centers. They pay people in their custody $1 a day — less than 1% of CA minimum wage — to do janitorial work such as scrubbing bathrooms, heavy loads of laundry, and maintaining the facilities so that the GEO Group doesn’t have to employ and pay a protected workforce.(1)
Not only that, but the centers are serving the detainees expired, spoiled, and nonsustaining food, making them ill. If the immigrants want nutritious food, they have to buy it from the commissary at exorbitant prices, giving back their measly $1 to the GEO Group.(2)
The hunger strikers need your help. Medical professionals have joined the MV-GSA Hunger Strike Support Committee asking for intervention from the Kern County office of the California Department of Public Health, but so far the DPH has been silent.
Courage California members can change that.
ICE has a history of letting hunger strikers die, and the GEO Group is threatening more unhealthy conditions. A few years ago, the California legislature passed a law, AB 263, that gives the Department of Public Health the ability to protect the health and safety of all California residents, including those in ICE facilities, and these hunger strikers need the DPH to step in now.