On Monday, about 100 detainees scheduled for hearings launched a hunger strike to protest conditions at the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center. The facility operated by GEO Group, a private prison company, houses over 1,500 immigrants.

The 3-day strike is indented to bring attention to the conditions within the facility and to also highlight additional grievances and demands by the detainees. In a letter released by the activist group, NWDC Resistance is demanding lower commissary prices, more recreational time, better food, speedier court proceedings, prompter medical care, and higher pay for prison labor.

NWDC Resistance leader Maru Mora Villalpando told the crowd, “It is very likely that ICE and Geo will try to retaliate by switching them (the striking detainees) to other pods or sending them to solitary.”

However, ICE spokeswoman Rose Richeson said: “ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference and does not retaliate in any way against hunger strikers.”

She reiterated that ICE would not respond against individuals participating in the “purported ‘hunger strike.’”

However after 72-hours within a continuing hunger strike, ICE can legally take action and place individuals in isolation within the medical department and offer medical treatment, ICE can also petition the courts to administer involuntary treatment regardless of the detainee’s wishes.


One of the detainees a Guyanese national named ”Ricky” has been at the facility for more than 3-months, outlined some of the grievances in a phone interview on Monday evening. “The food messes up people’s bowel movements,” he says. The menu also apparently lacks variety, every day, it's rice and beans, rice and beans.”

He continues: “Every day people complain about the medical care. I think one guy even tore his ACL playing basketball because the pavement is so slippery. A lot of guys are complaining about how they have non-stop lights. They dim it, but not enough. It messes with your sleep.”

Here is the list of the illegal immigrants "demands":

▪ Change the food menu.

▪ Lower commissary prices.

▪ Improve hygiene.

▪ Increase recreation time.

▪ Have schoolwork and other programs available to keep detainees occupied.

▪ Improve medical attention.

▪ Increase wages for working detainees.

▪ Help speed up the legal process for detainees.

Obviously, we can’t have illegal aliens slipping on the pavement while “playing basketball” and we should certainly do something about the menu selection, perhaps a nice filet mignon and a glass of Super Tuscan red wine would be nice… do you see where this is going?

Source: The News Tribune

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