September 11, 2020
Issue: Religious Freedom
ICE Fails to Respond to Reports of Miami Detention Facility Feeding Pork to Muslims
Ongoing Advocacy Includes Congressional Letter and Saturday Car Rally at Miami ICE Detention Center
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) never directly responded to a letter demanding that the agency immediately stop forcing Muslims detained at a Miami detention center to choose between eating pork or rotten halal meat. Since sending the letter last month, Muslim Advocates helped members of Congress demand answers from ICE and launched a petition signed by more than 13,000 people so far. On Saturday, September 12, local advocates will also step up the pressure on ICE with a car rally in front of the Miami facility.
- Click here for more information about the Miami car rally on Saturday. To learn more about the rally, reach out to Olivia Cantu at [email protected].
“Muslim Advocates continues to demand answers from ICE and is pursuing all possible avenues to force the agency to take accountability for what it has done,” said Muslim Advocates Legal Director Mary Bauer. “ICE’s silence—save for a couple dismissive, misleading tweets—is an insult to the Muslims they forced to choose between eating pork, rotten food or nothing at all. Further, their loophole-ridden denial raises serious concerns that the problems at the Krome facility are ongoing.”
The letter—sent by Muslim Advocates, Americans for Immigrant Justice and the law firm King & Spalding LLP—warned that ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, Muslims housed at ICE’s Krome Service Processing Center in Miami, Florida were being served pre-plated meals containing pork and that alternative halal meals were regularly served expired and rotten. So far, the agency’s only public response has been two tweets disputing the letter and falsely implying that their existing religious accommodation policies prevent this from happening—despite the words of the detained Muslims who have been served pork. Notably, the detention standards championed by ICE in their tweet explicitly state that religious accommodations can be suspended under extreme circumstances, which is exactly what the letter said happened at the Krome facility and could still be happening. This is also not an isolated incident with ICE, Muslim detainees held by the agency at a separate facility in Glades County, Florida have also been egregiously denied religious accommodations.
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.