This June 2018 photo shows protesters walking along Montana Avenue outside the El Paso Processing Center, in El Paso, Texas. (Rudy Gutierrez/The El Paso Times via AP)
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Immigrants around the country have staged hunger strikes over the past month to protest conditions inside detention facilities, prompting officials to force-feed six of them through plastic nasal tubes at a Texas location, The Associated Press has learned.The El Paso Processing Center has become the location with the most protests, with some detainees refusing food for more than 30 days. ICE, which has a more narrow definition of hunger strike, confirmed Thursday there are 11 detainees refusing food in El Paso, and an additional four in the agency's Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco areas of responsibility, according to agency spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa.ICE did not immediately respond to queries about how often they are force-feeding detainees.ICE classifies a detainee as a hunger striker after they refuse nine consecutive meals.In Tacoma, Washington, where immigration detainees have held high-profile hunger strikes in recent years, courts have ordered force-feeding at least six times, according to court records. Since May 2015, volunteers for the nonprofit Freedom for Immigrants have documented 1,396 people on hunger strike in 18 immigration detention facilities.
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