[Pnews] 8 buses deport prisoners from NWDC at dawn; at least five hunger strikers among them

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Apr 14 12:30:34 EDT 2014


April 14, 2014


Tacoma, WA - As supporters looked on, approximately 130 people held at 
the Northwest Detention Center were taken from the facility this morning 
as part of its weekly deportation regime. At least five hunger strikers 
were among those deported, according to an attorney who visited the 
facility on Sunday. A hunger strike supporter holding a vigil outside 
the center observed two buses leaving at 3 a.m. under cover of darkness. 
Supporters who arrived at dawn to offer witness to the deportations 
watched six more vehicles, marked “GEO Transport,” (five buses and a 
van) leaving the center. In what has become a new tactic since the 
February 24^th action that stopped 120 deportations, the buses 
themselves were used to block supporters from seeing people loaded in 
chains. Despite these efforts, supporters lined the sidewalk as the 
buses pulled out, making eye contact with those inside the buses, and 
chanting, “You are not alone!” and “The struggle continues!”

Hunger striker Salvador Chavez Salazar, who first arrived in the U.S. at 
the age of 15, was among those deported this morning. The 29-year-old 
father of two U.S. citizen children was held in the detention center for 
two and a half months following a DUI arrest. In a recording made on the 
eve of his deportation (audio and translation available upon request), 
he described his fifteen years of labor in the U.S., which included 
landscaping, picking cherries, onions, and apples, and gathering forest 
items in the forests outside his Aberdeen, WA home. He explained why he 
participated in both waves of the hunger strike despite knowing he would 
most likely be deported, stating, “It is an injustice for all of us who 
are locked up in here,” and expressing hope that his actions would 
benefit future detainees.  He described facing deportation with only the 
clothes on his back, despite having put in a request to ICE for his 
family to bring him a suitcase with fifteen days notice.  He also 
described how the facility continues to profit even after deportations, 
explaining that the money on detainees’ phone accounts is not returned 
to them. His greatest grief at leaving his home was for the harm to his 
4-year-old US-citizen daughters: “Deportations, they affect the children 
the most, that’s the truth. Almost everyone who is here, all of the 
people here are fathers with families.”

This weekly round of deportations at the NWDC comes as Ramon Mendoza 
Pascual and J. Cipriano Rios Alegria continue their hunger strike in 
medical isolation, under solitary confinement sentences. The link 
between their peaceful protest and their confinement became even clearer 
last Friday, when Mr. Mendoza was asked if he would end his hunger 
strike in exchange for being returned to the general population. He 
declined. He has now been on hunger strike for 35 out of the last 39 
days, protesting the on-going deportations and the deplorable detention 
center conditions.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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