portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

actions & protests | immigration

Video: What Is The Northwest Detention Center?

What is the Northwest Detention Center?
The Northwest Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, Detention Center is a private immigration prison facility located on the tide flats of Tacoma, Washington. The detention center opened in 2004 under a contract with The US Department of Homeland Security, Though owners have changed over time, the facility is now owned by the GEO Group Which operates prison facilities in Australia, The UK, South Africa, the US and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The video outlines what the Northwest Detention Center is, why it exists, and features video from the Smash ICE protest from November.

To see the video, click on this link:


In 2003 the ICE launched Operation End Game, the largest police operation in US history, to remove all undocumented migrants from the US by the year 2012. The project's predecessor, Operation Wetback in 1954, removed 1.2 million Mexicans from the American Southwest.

ICE does not need warrants to make arrests or to conduct raids. Since July 2007, raids have increased the number of detained migrants from 18,000 to 26,000 nationwide. Homeland Security relocates 700 detainees a week in the United States.

A contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the largest and primary investigative branch of Homeland Security, expanded the Northwest Detention Center and and expanded its housing capacity, making it the largest detention center owned by GEO Group on the West Coast of the United States.

The Migrants in the facility are mostly from the Northwest regions of Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Washington. Due to the increase in raids they've recently come from places like New York, Puerto Rico and Guam. ICE agents move the detainees to the facility under the cover of night.

Nationwide tens of thousands of children every year lose a parent to deportation. 85% percent of those detained don't have legal counsel, since they do not have a right to due process or protections against unlawful searches or seizures.

After raids in the Northwest rounded up hundreds of migrant workers at a time from places like Auburn, Washington and Portland, Oregon, a protest in solidarity with the No Borders Camp actions in Arizona took place at the same time in Tacoma.

The march was focused not at the facility itself, which is tucked away unnoticed amongst shipping terminals and superfund sites, but at the Wells Fargo Bank building, which invests in the GEO Group's operations worldwide. The march was labeled a homeland security threat, and policed heavily. Police with cameras and less than lethal weapons intimidated protesters, and suggested that local landlords evict the protest organizers from their homes.

The march occupied an intersection for more than ten minutes, circling from crosswalk to crosswalk until police used force. One woman taking pictures was arrested for spitting on the ground, and then intimidated by police and bystanders. Another was arrested for disarming an officer, though that charge was later dropped. In front of the Wells Fargo Bank, another arrest occurred.

As raids at jobs sites increased over the last years, members in the community seemed to have noticed little. As purges in accordance with End Game increase, the Tacoma activist community is attempting to increase awareness about the facility's proximity and what it stands for.

good film 28.Jan.2008 01:03

Ecotopian Yeti

A well done film. people also forget that rhe Jews that Hitler adn the Nazis rounded up first were Jewiah socio-political refugees from the pograms in Poland. That rounding up was viewed as a "immigration problem" with illegal immigrates. Does that sound familiar? It should we are living it today. First they came for the Jews, then the communists and radical unionists, then the Jehovah Witnesses, the homosexuals and criminals along with the mentally ill and physically undesirable and then they came for those that did not support the cause (the final solution). Wake up Cascadians!

some history 28.Jan.2008 01:22

Ecotopian Yeti

in the following text replace "Mexican" for "Jew" and "America" for "Germany".

An interpretive transcript of this meeting is provided by Robert Conot, Justice at Nuremberg, New York: Harper and Row, 1983:164-172):

`Gentlemen! Today's meeting is of a decisive nature,' Goering announced. `I have received a letter written on the Fuehrer's orders requesting that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way or another.'

`Since the problem is mainly an economic one, it is from the economic angle it shall have to be tackled. Because, gentlemen, I have had enough of these demonstrations! They don't harm the Jew but me, who is the final authority for coordinating the German economy. `If today a Jewish shop is destroyed, if goods are thrown into the street, the insurance companies will pay for the damages; and, furthermore, consumer goods belonging to the people are destroyed. If in the future, demonstrations which are necessary occur, then, I pray, that they be directed so as not to hurt us.

`Because it's insane to clean out and burn a Jewish warehouse, then have a German insurance company make good the loss. And the goods which I need desperately, whole bales of clothing and whatnot, are being burned. And I miss them everywhere. I may as well burn the raw materials before they arrive.

`I should not want to leave any doubt, gentlemen, as to the aim of today's meeting. We have not come together merely to talk again, but to make decisions, and I implore competent agencies to take all measures for the elimination of the Jew from the German economy, and to submit them to me.'