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El Paso asylum seekers on hunger strike

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EL PASO, Texas- Migrants seeking asylum remain on a hunger strike at an El Paso U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement processing center.

On Wednesday, 54 migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh refused to eat or drink water. Since then 11 detainees have been released, six are in critical medical condition and one organizer has been released from solitary confinement said Desis Rising Up & Moving, DRUM, an immigrant advocacy group based in New York.

MD Nasir Uddin, a migrant from Bangladesh, was released from the processing center on Saturday.

"We are seeking asylum, we are refugees. We are not criminals and they don't have any proof of criminals," Uddin said.

Uddin tells CBS4 he arrived in El Paso in December after traveling from South America to Juarez, Mexico.

"I didn't know I'd spent one year in jail," he said.

At the facility, he said he was not provided an interpreter and he said he had no access to legal documents or judgements against him.

According to DRUM, other migrants have not received medical care.

"They call it a processing center and it's not true. This is actually a prison," said Roxana Bendezu, a member of the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee.

ICE released the following statement:

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"ICE takes the health, safety, and welfare of those in our care very seriously and we continue to monitor the situation. ICE's El Paso Processing Center is staffed with medical and mental health care providers who monitor, diagnose and treat residents at the facility. ICE also uses outside, private medical/mental health care service providers as needed."
"Individuals have access to meals served three times daily at the cafeteria, snacks provided by the facility, or food purchased from the EPC commissary."
On Monday, 14 detainees at Lasalle Detention Center in Jena, Louisiana, began a hunger strike, protesting similar conditions.

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