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4.23.2014

Join the campaign to release the #ElPaso37

More than thirty Punjabi asylum seekers remain in ICE custody without due process



In Texas, more than forty Sikh men from India -- members of a minority political party from the Punjab region -- have been detained since spring of 2013 at the El Paso Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center. They fled their home country seeking asylum from persecution, only to find themselves languishing in custody here in the United States without due process for nearly a year.

Earlier this month, 37 of the detainees -- dubbed the #ElPaso37 -- initiated a hunger strike in protest of continued denials of their rights to due process. The ended after ten days, with several hospitalizations, amid promises from ICE that the detainees' paperwork would finally move forward. But so far over thirty detainees still remained in custody in El Paso.

18 Million Rising has launched a campaign to increase pressure on ICE to release these detainees and call attention to their plight. Starting today, 18MR has partnered with United We Dream to kick off a three-day protest, during which community members, activists, and organizers from across the country will inundate ICE with phone calls expressing concern about and demanding the release of the #ElPaso37.

Want to participate? Here's what to do:

CALL: 1-888-351-4024 (ICE Enforcement & Removal Operations Reporting and Info Line)

Please note: you must call Monday thru Friday between 8 AM & 8 PM EST.

The touch tone menu will ask you:

For your preferred language (English or Spanish)
Whether or not you are in detention (press 2)
What your call concerns (press 3 for detention)
If you are trying to locate a detainee (stay on the line to talk to an agent)

CALL SCRIPT: Hi, I’m calling about the 37 Punjabi asylum seekers who have been on a hunger strike since April 8 at the El Paso Processing Center. These young men have established credible fear of the Indian government, yet have been in detention and unable to pursue their asylum cases in court, some for up to 10 months. It is a matter of urgency--and a matter of justice--that these men get the opportunity to win asylum in the United States.

YOU CAN ALSO ADD: one of the asylum seekers has already been released, and I would love to see the others released so they can pursue their cases. Thank you.


THEN CALL: 1-202-732-3000 (ICE Washington, D.C. Headquarters)

There is no touch-tone menu for ICE Headquarters.

CALL SCRIPT: Hi, I’m calling about the 37 Punjabi asylum seekers who have been on a hunger strike since April 8 at the El Paso Processing Center. These young men have established credible fear of the Indian government, yet have been in detention and unable to pursue their asylum cases in court, some for up to 10 months. It is a matter of urgency--and a matter of justice--that these men get the opportunity to win asylum in the United States.

YOU CAN ALSO ADD: one of the asylum seekers has already been released, and I would love to see the others released so they can pursue their cases. Thank you.
For more details, and to let 18 Million Rising know that you've joined the campaign, go here. And for further information about the #ElPaso37, refer to the campaign press release.