ICE Detainees Hunger Strike at Farmville Detention Center in Response to COVID-19

ICE Detainees Hunger Strike at Farmville Detention Center in Response to COVID-19

Farmville Detention Center, Farmville, Virginia
March 31 – April 3, 2020

Approximately 100 detainees at the Farmville Detention Center organized a hunger strike in response a COVID-19 outbreak, according to a press release from immigrant advocacy groups La ColectiVA and Sanctuary DMV. The hunger strike ended three days later in response to retaliation from guards, according to Santuary DMV.
From the press release:
Around 100 people held at ICA-run private immigration detention center in Farmville, Virginia are on hunger strike due to multiple reports of a COVID-19 breakout. People detained report one dorm is under quarantine and nobody is allowed outside of their dorms. At least SIX people have been moved to isolation. They report phone lines have been cut, and officers are selectively wearing personal protective equipment. The risk to everyone, especially the elderly and the immunocompromised, is deadly.
On March 25th, 28 people detained at Farmville sent a letter to US Attorney General William Barr to convey the rapidly deteriorating health situation. In the letter, they pleaded with Attorney General Barr to, “kindly let these detainees go home and spend the time with their families at this critical moment.” There has been NO response from the Department of Justice or the White House so far.



Inmates at Privately-Run ICE Camp Go on Hunger Strike Amid COVID-19 Outbreak, Deteriorating Conditions“, Citizen Truth, April 4, 2020.

Amid Quarantine at Virginia Detention Center, Immigrant Detainees Ask to Be Set Free“, Washington City Paper, April 6, 2020.

URGENT: COVID-19 Hunger Strike at Virginia ICE Jail! Take Action NOW“, Press Release, nd.

Sixth ICE detainee tests positive for COVID-19 as hunger strikes begin“, Roll Call, April 2, 2020.

“Five Questions Answered About Farmville’s ICE Detention Facility“, WVTF, January 7, 2020.


Article posted: 4/29/2020
Header image source: Farmville Detention Center via Washington City Paper