As the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump ramps up deportations and continues to build its capacity for increased mass detentions and deportations, hundreds of incarcerated immigrants joined a hunger strike to protest conditions they describe as abusive, exploitative, and filthy. The facility houses more than 1,500 civil detainees awaiting deportation or immigration hearings. More than 700 had joined by the end of the first week, and continued to join throughout the following week.
“The hunger strike is not a tool that is used lightly,” Villalpando said. “When people use their own health to fight, to put their lives on the line, this just shows the extreme conditions they are dealing with and the urgency of their demands.” She and other allies with Northwest Detention Center Resistance maintained an encampment outside the Detention Center and 24-7 vigilance during the two-week hunger strike.