On April 23, 2014, hunger-strike protesters at a family detention center filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of ...
read more >
On April 23, 2014, hunger-strike protesters at a family detention center filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Homeland Security and the GEO Group, Inc, a subcontractor of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, claim that the defendants violated their First Amendment Right to freedom of expression by discriminating against them. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that they suffered and continue to suffer injury, including chilling effects, as a result of the defendants' interrogation and isolation the plaintiffs because of their participation in various hunger strikes protesting their detention.
In March 2014, eighty mothers awaiting asylum proceedings with their children protested the inadequate and intolerable living conditions of the detention center by participating in a hunger strike. The mothers continued feeding their children. Many of the participants, along with their children, were subsequently isolated and interrogated by ICE officials and GEO agents. Many were fired from their jobs in the detention center which had previously allowed them to pay for food from the commissary to continue feeding their children. ICE officials did not respond to the signed petition and many of the participants discontinued their protest as a result of these actions described.
The plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction on April 29, 2015, but the court denied their motion on May 8, 2015. On June 1, 2015 the District Court (Judge Xavier Rodriguez) scheduled a bench trial for June 6, 2016. Subsequently, the defendants moved for dismissal on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.
However, on September 9, 2015, the plaintiffs informed the court that they were voluntarily dismissing the case under Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a). This case is now closed.Tania Morris Diaz - 06/10/2015
Allison Hight - 03/19/2016