Tacoma woman ends hunger strike outside detention center

Veronica Noriega ended a week of fasting and camping outside the federal immigration detention center in Tacoma on Tuesday, following her husband’s immigration court hearing inside.

Ramon Mendoza Pascual was not released on bond, , as supporters had hoped. Noriega and other immigrant advocates had said the hearing could bring about Mendoza Pascual’s release or possibly a date for him to be deported to Mexico.

Neither happened.

The attorney for the government opposed his release, pending deportation proceedings, and the judge gave the government until Sept. 18 to respond to the request for a bond hearing.

The next immigration hearing he’ll have his Nov. 21, supporters said, and they still hope he’ll get a bond set and be released as he awaits those proceedings. Like bail in criminal cases, a bond is money pledged as a promise to appear in court.

Mendoza Pascual has been held at the Northwest Detention Center on the Tideflats for a year after a DUI charge that supporters said was later dropped.

Noriega thanked those who supported her during her hunger strike, which she said was in solidarity with detainees who fasted at the center this year, in protest of deportations, conditions at the center, and in support of better access to bonds.