The Karnes Detention Center, about an hour southeast of San Antonio, is a privately run facility that is currently housing hundreds of Central American women. These women crossed the border illegally with their children last year during a surge of migration from their home countries – which are afflicted with crushing poverty and rampant gang violence.
Now, attorneys and civil rights groups say that within the walls of the facility, there is a hunger strike going on. The reason? Reportedly, the women being held there are demanding they – along with their children– be released while they continue to pursue asylum.
Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch is an immigration lawyer who has been working with some of those detained in Karnes. “Some of these women have been there since Karnes opened last August, others have been detained even longer,” she tells the Standard. “Their children are suffering. I’ve heard reports of childrens’ hair falling out, losing weight, medical problems.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.
This story was prepared with assistance from Brenda Lau.