Hunger strike at Greek detainee center

ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 7 (UPI) — Hundreds of immigrants to Greece being held on the island of Samos have begun a hunger strike to protest a plan to move them to another detention center.

About 580 detainees joined the protest, Kathimerini reported. The hunger strike began Tuesday when detainees on Samos learned 26 were scheduled to be transferred.

The government recently began a push to remove illegal immigrants from the country by speeding up deportations and rounding up immigrants living in rundown housing in Athens. Transfers to the detention center in northern Greece are a preliminary to expulsion, the report said.

Campaigners for immigrants’ rights said Greece sets the bar too high for workers living in the country legally who want to bring their families in. A government source told Kathimerini about one-third of applications for families are expected to be accepted this year, with most rejected because the legal migrant is not making a large enough income to qualify for family migration.

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