Activists Fasting In Solidarity With Immigrants At Tacoma Detention Center

Mar 31, 2014

Activists are standing in solidarity with immigrants who’ve been staging a hunger strike at the detention center in Tacoma by holding their own hunger strike this week.

The protesters, who are mostly women, are calling the demonstration the Women’s Fast For Families. They want to remind the public that lawmakers have yet to act on any comprehensive immigration legislation.

The Washington State Labor Council is one of the organizations behind the fast. Lynne Dodson, the group's secretary and treasurer, says 177 immigrants are deported every hour from the U.S.

“Families are being torn apart, and they're living in fear. These are people who came here to better their lives, and they’re contributing to our communities every day," she said.

The fast is a rolling event. Each day this week, people from a different organization will go without food for 24 hours. The groups participating include the state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, Planned Parenthood One America and Central de La Raza.

Similar events are taking place across the country. Supporters of immigration reform are also gathering signatures, urging lawmakers in Congress to revive an immigration bill that has been stuck in committee.

In Tacoma, the immigrants who’ve been refusing to eat say they want better living conditions and to be released on bond while their cases are being heard.