Hunger strikes continue at the NWDC

Hunger strikes continue at the NWDC. Take action now and support the hunger strikers, support the work to end detention and deportations!

Vigil Today:
WHEN: FRIDAY, Sep 8th, 4:30-7:30pm
WHERE: Northwest Detention Center, 1623 E J St. Tacoma, WA 98421

Free the Cuban Asylum Seekers! Sign the petition:

Manuel Riveron on Hunger Strike Without Water in NWDC.
Cuban Asylum Seeker Resumes Hunger Strike After Yesterday’s Hearing

Tacoma, WA – In a courtroom at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Manuel Riveron, one of the hunger strikers that stopped eating on August 27th demanding their immediate release, was told by an Immigration Judge this morning that she was confused and did not understand why the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has denied him parole. Saying that there was nothing that the Court could do to further his case at this time, the Judge recommended Manuel and another Cuban asylum seeker in the hearing find lawyers, and also apply for parole again. After today’s hearing, Mr. Riveron decided to begin his strike again, refusing all food and water. Manuel Riveron had decided to stop his ongoing strike yesterday to prepare for today’s court, in hopes that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s promises of release if he began eating again would be realized. “They lied to me, they lied and I won’t eat or drink water until they deliver their promise” said Manuel Riveron in a phone call. “They are playing with our lives and I won’t let them, I’d rather die than spend another day in here,” added Mr. Riveron.

Since August 27th strikers reported threats of being placed on IV and force-feeding. They also reported that GEO administrators did not monitor their vitals or physical health.

Reports from people detained indicate that the detention center is not at maximum capacity for some time now, with numbers of 1200 to 1300 people detained. Organizers with NWDC Resistance have witnessed in the past months GEO Group transport buses arriving at NWDC with 2-5 people at a time, confirming the lower numbers of people detained relative to the high capacity seen in months prior.

This is the fifth hunger strike at the NWDC so far in 2017, which ICE and GEO Group claim is a model immigration detention facility. Hunger strikers stated that ICE has been giving different excuses for not releasing them, including being told that that they cannot determine whether they are Cuban, despite being provided with birth certificates and identification cards; some have not even received court dates or interviews with ICE authorities. However, today in court, when asked by the judge, the Department of Homeland Security declined to give any explanation or excuse whatsoever for their denial of parole for Manuel Riveron or another Cuban asylum seeker.

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