750 immigration detainees go on a hunger strike

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750 immigration detainees go on a hunger strike to combat deportation. (AP)

TACOMA, Washington (AP) — The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department has confirmed that 750 detainees at the Northwest Detention Center say they are on a hunger strike.

An immigrant activist says the detainees stopped eating on Friday as a protest of deportations as well as center conditions.

The center currently houses nearly 1,300 people being investigated for possible deportation.

ICE spokesman Andrew Munoz says the agency respects the right of people to express their opinions without interference.

The detainees are under continuous observation by center staff and medical personnel.

Activist Maru Mora Villalpando says the hunger strikers are seeking better food and treatment as well as better pay for center jobs.

ICE detention standards state that a detainee who has not eaten for 72 hours is considered to be on a hunger strike.