The Bristol County House of Corrections is notorious for their horrendous conditions, including complaints of rotten food and contaminated water. Over the Summer, detainees being held per order of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the facility went on hunger strike in protest of these conditions.
Bristol County has a series of agreements with ICE, including a 287(g) agreement which allows state officers and employees to perform the duties of immigration officers. Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, is a close friend of President Donald Trump and has even offered to transport inmates to the border as slave labor to build “the wall.”
On Wednesday members of the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM), with the help of AMOR (Alianza para Movilizar Nuestra Resistencia) the The FANG Collective held a demonstration outside the prison as part of the National Week of Action to End Southeast Asian Deportations.
[All the video and pictures on this post are courtesy of and (c) 2019 Penhsamnnang Kan.]
Since 1998, more than 16,000 of Southeast Asian American community members from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, have been issued orders of deportation, but more than 14,000 are living in the country in a state of limbo, uncertain of when ICE will once again try to detain them. This aggression on our community follows the Trump Administration sanctions on Cambodia and Laos, the biggest Cambodian and Vietnamese detention round up in 2017, and the biggest deportation of Cambodian immigrants in 2018.
This week of action, which will see actions in 15 cities across the country, is on the heels of one of the largest Southeast Asian deportation flights in United States history and coincides with Martin Luther King Jr Day. In honor of Dr King’s memory, we call on our country to remember the three evils – racism, militarism and poverty – that continue to devastate and divide Southeast Asian communities and all Black and Brown communities.
We are calling for Bristol County to end this 287(g) agreement with ICE and to fulfill the demands of the prisoners who went on hunger strike at the facility.
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You can learn more about the conditions at the jail by reading this letter released from ICE detainees at the facility.