MIAMI (AP) — Immigrant rights advocates say that Muslim detainees at a Florida facility are being served meals that include pork in violation of their religious beliefs.
The human rights groups Muslim Advocates and Americans for Immigrant Justice, along with a law firm, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday demanding that the agencies immediately stop feeding pork to detainees at the Krome detention center in Miami.
Since the pandemic began, the facility switched from cafeteria dining to sending plates directly to the detainees’ units. The letter says the meals regularly include pork sausage and pork ribs and other pork-based ingredients.
“The pandemic is no excuse to needlessly violate detainees’ religious rights,” the letter says.
ICE spokesman Nestor Yglesias responded in a statement saying the agency’s national detention standards include “accommodation of religious dietary practices.”
“Any claim that ICE denies reasonable and equitable opportunity for persons to observe their religious dietary practices is false,” he said in an email.
Muslim detainees had complained before the pandemic to ICE officials that the pre-packaged halal meals were rotten and expired, the letter said. Some said they had suffered stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.