Work Stoppage and Hunger Strike at Karnes County Residential Center, Texas

Work Stoppage and Hunger Strike at Karnes County Residential Center, Texas

Karnes County Residential Center, Karnes City, Texas
March 30, 2015 – April 5, 2015 (end date approximate)

Around 78 detained immigrant mothers, most of whom were seeking asylum from Central American countries, signed a letter demanding their release and launched a work and hunger strike as well as a boycott of the facility. The privately-managed detention facility was operated by the GEO Group under contract with ICE and housed mothers and their children.

The facility responded to the strike by reportedly sending some of the mothers and their children to solitary confinement. The strike ended almost one week later.

A second hunger strike began at the facility approximately two weeks later.


“[D]uring this [time], no mother will work in the detention center, nor will we send our children to school, not will we use any services here, until we are heard and approved: we want our FREEDOM.” (Photo Source: Colorlines).

Mothers held at Texas detention centre go on hunger strike to demand release“, The Guardian, April 1, 2015.

Some Hunger-Striking Mothers Were Put In Isolation At Karnes Immigrant Detention Center, Lawyers Say,” Huffington Post, April 2, 2015.

Undocumented mothers put in solitary after 78 launch hunger strike at private prison“, Prison Protest, April 3, 2015.

Karnes fast petition“, Grassroots Leadership, Scribd, nd.

Hunger strike by undocumented women at Texas detention facility“, Chron, April 14, 2015.

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