Phoenix police on Tuesday night broke up an encampment of activists on hunger strike to protest deportations, arresting two participants, according to witnesses. That same night, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported the son of one of the hunger strikers.
“ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference,” ICE said in a statement emailed to HuffPost.
The authorities’ actions mark a heightening of tension between activists and Phoenix officials over the weeks-long hunger strike. On Feb. 17, six undocumented immigrants with family members locked up in the Eloy Detention Center, owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America, pitched tents in front of Phoenix’s ICE office and began fasting. They have demanded the release of their relatives and a halt toPresident Barack Obama’s record-setting pace of deportations. They have also been joined by sympathizers who have visited the round-the-clock camp to show support.
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