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Immigrant Women Launch Hunger Strike in Tacoma, WA as COVID-19 Cases Rise in Immigration Jails

HeadlineApr 06, 2020

In immigration news, a prisoner being held at the privately owned Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego has tested positive for COVID-19; two facility employees also recently tested positive. There have been at least eight reported cases of COVID-19 among immigrant prisoners across the country.

Meanwhile, over 60 immigrant women imprisoned at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, have gone on hunger strike demanding the immediate release of vulnerable people, humanitarian visas to detainees, and a moratorium on deportations and transfers. On Friday, dozens of allies protested outside the facility in their cars, honking their horns in support of immigrant prisoners. This is Maru Mora-Villalpando, an activist with the immigrant rights group La Resistencia.

Maru Mora-Villalpando: “As we are told that we should keep social distance, that we should clean our hands, that we should not go out, elected officials should be doing something to release people from detention, because people in detention have said, 'This is not only about us.' When guards come in or out, they’re also bringing the virus either in or they’re taking it out. As governments have asked us, 'Stay home, save lives,' we ask them, 'Get people out of cages, save lives.'”

In related news, ProPublica reports hospitals across New York City are leaving some non-English-speaking patients unattended and without proper care.

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