Federal judge approves DHS request to force feed immigrant detainee on hunger strike

A federal judge in San Diego approved Thursday a request from the Department of Homeland Security to force-feed and hydrate an immigrant detainee on hunger strike.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the 41-year-old man, a Russian citizen, has not eaten since Aug. 4 and has consumed only water, though he has refused to tell officials at the ICE facility how much.

The man is also refusing any medical examination, the clinical director at the Otay Mesa Detention Center said in a declaration.

The physician indicated in federal filings that they are concerned the detainee could suffer serious health problems due to the ongoing hunger strike.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw approved ICE's request to restrain the man if necessary to perform a medical examination and forcefully feed and hydrate him.

"The Court finds that Plaintiff is likely to succeed in showing that its interests in preserving life and discharging its duties to care for those in its custody outweigh any interest Defendant might have in expressing himself through a hunger strike," she wrote in the order.

The Hill has reached out to ICE for comment.

The Daily Beast identified the man as Evgenii Ivanov. He has reportedly lost 27 pounds and refused 51 meals since his stay began.

Ivanov has been in immigration proceedings since November. His next court appearance is scheduled for the end of next month.