In a gesture of goodwill toward their Norte Americano amigos, prisoners at an ICE detention facility in Seattle, Washington have decided to stop eating.
“We want to save zee taxpayers heez money,” said an inmate who identified himself as Juan.
Juan has also made an offer to Los Estados Unidos that few would refuse. He has promised that if released from prison that he will come to the homes of American citizens at 6 A.M. every morning for the next year, armed with his leafblower. Juan promises Americans a leaf-free future to show his love and loyalty to America.
Meanwhile, he promises not to eat a bite.
Let’s hear it for Juan in a million and his generosity.
A massive hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington, entered its fifth day on Friday, with more than 750 immigrants detained at the facility joining the effort.
The detainees are demanding an improvement in quality of food, clarity and speed in their immigration proceedings, improved access to medical care, and the lowering of commissary prices.
The strike began at noon on Monday, when one hundred prisoners refused to eat their lunches. Maru Mora Villalpando, a spokeswoman for the activist coalition NWDC Resistance, told The Daily Beast that the current climate is the worst since President Donald Trump was elected.
Trump has announced stringent deportation policies and actions since his inauguration, including one national raid at the end of March that detained 367 undocumented immigrants in five separate operations, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency in charge of border security.
The Tacoma facility currently holds more than 1,400 immigrant detainees—almost at full capacity—all held under varying charges.
Although exact figures are unknown, one prisoner told The Daily Beast that the majority of inmates had no criminal record and were instead detained as a result of expired visas or illegally entering the country.
ICE would not confirm exact numbers regarding the NWDC’s current population.
Detainees in the facility receive only $1 per day for cleaning, cooking, and operationally running the prison. Strikers called for more in a letter that was circulated throughout NWDC prior to the strike, as well as demands that included expedited hearings, improvements to food and medical care, and price cuts to the commissary, where the cost of some items recently doubled.
One detainee, only identified as Christian, spoke to NWDC activists in a recording for their blog on Monday.
“The food they serve, they serve beans and rice seven days a week, three times a day,” Christian, who is about to turn 26, said in a conversation from inside the facility. “Commissary is very expensive and my family always gives us a little bit of money, and sometimes… spends hundreds of dollars.”
The following day, Christian was one of several detainees who were transported from NWDC in a two-bus transport to be deported to Mexico, according to Villalpando.
Even as more immigrants are deported, the facility’s population continues to grow, as indicated by a Facebook video posted by NWDC Resistance showing buses entering the prison grounds.
According to posts on the same Facebook page, another hunger striker, Johnathan Guzman, said “I am doing the hunger strike not just for me but for everyone out there in the future.”