Law Offices of Gita B. Kapur
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HUNGER STRIKING IMMIGRANT MOMS FACED RETALIATION

The case is Pineda Cruz et al. v. Thompson et al., case number 5:15-cv-00326, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Three immigrant mothers held at a Texas detention facility who had fled to the United States with their respective children to escape widespread life-threatening violence and sexual violence in their home countries, filed a lawsuit alleging that they were held in isolation in retaliation for their hunger strike to protest their detention and conditions at the center. Per the lawsuit, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials coordinated with the GEO Group Inc., the private operator of the Karnes County Residential Center, to attempt to intimidate the women by telling them they would be deemed "mentally unfit" to care for their children if they continue to protest their treatment at the facility. The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages but an injunction that prevents the detention centers operators from continuing to violate their civil rights, which includes the right to first amendment. The women claim that the despite the U.S. Department of Homeland Security finding them to have credible fear claim to seek asylum, they are continue to be detained at the facility, which is unjust to them and their children. The plaintiffs seek that the putative class include not only past and current detainees but those who will be detained at Karnes in the future.

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