Read the original article on La Resistencia’s website here.

On Wednesday, April 15, a new hunger strike launched at the Northwest Detention Center. Hunger strikers spelled out the distress signal, “SOS”, in the yard of the detention center, reflecting the emergency they are facing and demanding ICE release them from detention immediately.

This hunger strike marks the third to occur at the facility in just three weeks, following over 60 immigrant women who were on strike last week and prior to that, 300 people were on strike at the NWDC the first week of April. A rise in hunger strikes at the Northwest Detention Center and in detention centers across the country underscores the panic and desperation people feel as concerns over COVID-19 infection intensify.

In the last three weeks there have been 16 confirmed hunger strikes nationwide as people in immigration detention are protesting their incarceration during a global pandemic

People on hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center are demanding:

  • To be released from detention immediately. The SOS distress signal is our desperate call for help from every elected official to respond and do whatever they can to get us out now. Our lives are in imminent danger and we do not want to die in detention. This is an emergency. People navigating their immigration cases should be able to do so with their families and in community rather than behind bars.
  • We call on ICE to stop lying. ICE is actively hiding information from the public on the dire situation in immigration detention and the people inside who are bravely speaking out against it with hunger strikes. There have been three hunger strikes at NWDC alone in the past three weeks, and we will continue to go on hunger strike until everyone is released from NWDC and safe from being exposed to COVID-19.



  1. Email local ICE Field Office Director Nathalie Asher using the provided template.

  2. Email and call Governor Inslee using the provided template.

  3. Share on social media: Write the hunger striker demands on a piece of paper, along with one or all of these hashtags: #FreeThemAll #ShutDownNWDC #DerrumbandoFronteras #BreakingDownBorders Take a selfie with the demands and post on social media using the hashtags and tagging @jayinslee @laresistencianw

  4. Listen to & share the testimony from those detained at NWDC during the global coronavirus outbreak about conditions inside.
  5. Learn more about ICE’s shameful record of medical negligence, poor sanitation, and demonstrated inability to respond to past infectious disease outbreaks in this Detention Watch Network report, Courting Catastrophe: How ICE is Gambling with Immigrant Lives Amid a Global Pandemic.


A few weeks ago we participated in a national #FreeThemAll week of action to put pressure on people like Jay Inslee to release people from NWDC. In case you missed it, links to those actions are below! It still helps to do any of those calls to actions. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to join in on new calls to action!

3/30, Day 1- Demand ICE #FreeThemAll:
3/31, Day 2 – Let Our People Go/Trans Day of Visibility:
4/1, Day 3 – #DefundHate: Reject COVID-19 ICE and CBP Funding:
4/2, Day 4 – La policia, la migra, la misma porqueria:
4/3, Day 5 – Care not Cages: Public Health Department Accountability Day:
4/4, Day 6 – #FreeThemAll Solidarity Day Webinar: Watch it here:

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