News Roundup: Detained Immigrants Protest Their Treatment With Hunger Strike

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelFebruary 4, 2019 5:30 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Immigrant detainees at several Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, facilities across the country are on hunger strike to protest their conditions and treatment. A lawyer representing two striking detainees says officials at the El Paso Processing Center have physically abused detainees to intimidate them.

Texas Public Radio’s Reynaldo Leanos Jr. reports.

Michigan-based attorney Ruby Kaur represents two detainees on hunger strike at the El Paso Processing Center. She received a call on Sunday notifying her about reports of recent physical abuse of the detainees on hunger-strike at the El Paso facility.

“They were thrown on the ground and they were left there for like good 15 minutes, and there were also like man-held issues, you know, like pushing them and dragging them,” Kaur says.

Kaur says she confirmed the account after speaking with a migrant detainee at the facility. She says she learned the events took place in front of other detainees, who were told that the same thing would happen to them if they too went on hunger strike. ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the alleged incident, but in a previous statement said they do not retaliate against hunger strikers.

A border patrol agent in the Abilene area was killed after being struck by a vehicle this past weekend. The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan identified the agent Sunday as Donna Doss. McAleenan said she served for nearly 16 years.

Doss was helping a Texas state trooper check the immigration status of a driver on Saturday night. She was struck by a passing vehicle as she was crossing the road to help with the stop. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the driver is a 79-year-old man, and he was taken into custody. It’s unclear if the driver will face charges.

Commissioner said in a statement on Twitter “On behalf of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, my deepest condolences go out to her family and loved ones.”

SpaceX founder Elon Musk visited the company’s facility in McGregor, Texas over the weekend for the first firing of the Raptor flight engine.

Musk posted a video of the engine test on Twitter last night.

This engine was developed to power what’s been dubbed the SpaceX Starship. The goal is for that spacecraft to be able to orbit the moon, with passengers on board, by 2023. Musk announced this past September that the first paying customer for that flight is 42-year-old Japanese billionaire: Yusaku Maezawa. The website CNET previously reported that Maezawa plans to invite artists with him on this journey around the moon.