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The Region : Aliens Stage Hunger Strike in El Centro

May 28, 1985

About 300 aliens went on a hunger strike at the Immigration and Naturalization Service detention center in El Centro to protest crowding, poor sanitation and alleged violations of their legal rights, said an attorney for the aliens. Graciela Zavala, a lawyer with the Imperial Valley Immigration Project, said more than half of the 500 men detained at the center are protesting a shortage of toilets, sinks and soap at the camp. Aliens have also complained that they are forced to stand outside for as many as 14 hours a day in temperatures that reach as high as 120 degrees, she said. An INS official at the camp said that immigration officials had no comment.

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