Hunger Strike Grows Among Immigrant Detainees In Tacoma

Apr 12, 2017

A hunger strike is growing among immigrants held by federal authorities in Tacoma. That’s according to activists getting updates by phone and email  from people held at the Northwest Detention Center.

One of those activists is Maru Mora Villalpando . Standing outside the center, she says several hundred detainees inside are now refusing food.

“It seems really that the biggest complaint is just access to due process to have a speedy court date," Villalpando said. "And a lot of people have been reporting that their court dates have been postponed and postponed, over and over again, not for weeks but for months” 

She says detainees are also demanding better food and medical care. The detention center is home to about 1500 immigrants from across the Northwest who are facing possible deportation.

Some of them began the hunger strike on Monday. Federal immigration officials say they are talking to detainees about their concerns and if someone has not eaten for 72 hours, officials refer them to medical care.

For some detainees, that deadline is midday Thursday.

Copyright 2017 KNKX