Six immigrants at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement center in El Paso, Texas, are being force-fed through plastic nasal tubes after taking part in a hunger strike that spanned for a month, leaving some detainees so weak that they are unable to speak or stand, a report on Wednesday said.
The immigrants said they resorted to the hunger strike over taunting from the guards about the possibility of deportation, the Associated Press reported. A federal judge authorized force-feeding of some El Paso detainees earlier this month, ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa said.
ICE did not immediately respond to an email late Wednesday from Fox News.
The El Paso Times reported that 11 detainees at the facility are taking part in the strike, which began with two detainees on Dec. 30. Detainees who reached the AP, along with a relative and an attorney representing hunger strikers, said nearly 30 detainees from India and Cuba have been refusing to eat.
Another four detainees are on hunger strikes in the agency's Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco areas of responsibility, ICE told the AP.
The men with nasal tubes are having persistent nosebleeds, and are vomiting several times a day, said Amrit Singh, whose two nephews from the Indian state of Punjab have been on hunger strike for about a month.
"They are not well. Their bodies are really weak, they can't talk and they have been hospitalized, back and forth," said Singh, from California. "They want to know why they are still in the jail and want to get their rights and wake up the government immigration system."
Singh's nephews are both seeking asylum.
The Associated Press contributed to this report