Advocacy group claims ICE detainees are staging a hunger strike - KPTV - FOX 12

Advocacy group claims ICE detainees are staging a hunger strike

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TACOMA, WA (KPTV) -

The group Latino Advocacy is claiming immigrants held at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Tacoma are on a hunger strike in protest of their conditions.

The group, a nonprofit that focuses on immigrant rights, claims that more than 100 immigrants began refusing meals Monday afternoon while supporters rallied outside the facility.

The organization noted that the people on strike are asking for more expedited hearings, improved quality of food, improved access to medical care and an increase in the $1 per day payment the detainees get for running the detention center's basic services such as cleaning and waxing floors.

In response to inquiries about the hunger strike, a spokesperson for the Seattle field office of ICE issued a statement saying individuals in ICE facilities are served three meals per day. The spokesperson also noted that the facility in Tacoma offers snacks for purchase from a commissary.

Additionally, the statement said ICE “fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion,” adding that the agency would not interfere with or retaliate against the strikers.

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) takes very seriously the health, safety and welfare of those in our care. Individuals at all ICE facilities have access to meals served three times daily at the cafeteria, and the Northwest Detention Facility also provides snacks and/or food available for purchase from a commissary. If individuals are found to go without eating for 72 hours, they will become subject to the agency's protocols for handling hunger strikes - see link. Individuals on a hunger strike will continue to be offered three meals daily and provided an adequate supply of drinking water or other beverages. They will also be counseled about the related medical risks."

"ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference and does not retaliate in any way against hunger strikers."

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