Berks Detention Center

Katie Meyer / WESA

Like many of their colleagues, freshman Democratic Congresswomen Madeleine Dean and Mary Gay Scanlon have lately been vocally opposing the detention of immigrant families on the southern border.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

A group of activists spent Thursday evening projecting images of immigrant families on a building near the state Capitol.

Manel Balce Ceneta / AP

As national attention remains focused on the treatment of undocumented immigrants on the southern border, a group in Pennsylvania is calling attention to a situation closer to home.

The Shut Down Berks Coalition is launching a renewed effort to shutter the Berks County Residential Center, where about 20 migrant families are detained.

Berks is the smallest of the country’s three family detention facilities operated by the federal government, and the only one that’s not in Texas.

The Shut Down Berks Coalition has been calling for its closure for several years.

Pa. Immigrant Detention Center Strikers Pause For A Week, Citing Threats

Aug 25, 2016
Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

 

*UPDATED

More than a dozen women who crossed into the U.S. illegally with their children continue to protest their long detention in a Pennsylvania facility.

A hunger strike that started Aug. 8 has paused for a weeklong "fast" of one meal a day, before the women resume the strike next week.

"We have been pushed to suspend the hunger strike by the threat of immigration officials, who have told us that, if our health weakens, the government will take away our children and send us to adult prisons," said the mothers in an emailed statement.