ICE exaggerating number of people deported, says transparency group

A Syracuse University-based transparency group released the results today of a two year long Freedom of Information struggle with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The startling data, based on case-by-case numbers of immigrants apprehended, detained and deported by ICE in 2005 appears to show that agency vastly over-reported these numbers in official statements. The new records show […]
Jan 4, 2012

DREAM activist facing deportation speaks out on MLK Day

Update 1/19: An Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency spokeswoman has given this statement to the Globalist: “At this time, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reviewing Mr. Okere’s case to determine the appropriate next steps.” This means, she clarified, that ICE has not decided to deport Okere as of yet. Around 1000 people gathered […]
Jan 17, 2012

Is Obama’s immigration policy shift really a DREAM come true?

When I first saw the email alert, “Obama offers immunity to younger immigrants,” I could hardly believe it was true. President Obama had signed an executive order that was a modified version of the DREAM Act, vowing to not deport undocumented youth under 30, and giving them the opportunity to temporarily work in the U.S. legally. The […]
Jun 26, 2012

Mexicans wait in limbo after failed border crossings

The illegal border crossing from Mexico to the U.S. can be dangerous, expensive and terrifying for thousands of Mexicans walking across the Arizona desert each year. Facing possible sexual assault and death from dehydration, the most devastating turn comes when they are picked up by border patrol and sent back over the border. Rachel Alexander […]
Aug 27, 2012

New OneAmerica director aims to boost immigrant voter participation

In the past six months alone, big things have started happening for the immigrant community is Seattle. President Obama announced a new deportation deferment policy for undocumented young adults. The Seattle City Council created the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and a new Washington State Voting Rights Act could significantly increase voting participation among immigrant […]
Oct 9, 2012

DREAMers anxiously await Obama’s next move on immigration

Yuriana Garcia, 20, is an ambitious, soft-spoken Honors student majoring in Human Centered Design & Engineering at UW. She has a passion for bioengineering, and an impressive record working on research projects in genomics and microbiology. She’s also an undocumented immigrant. Until recently, her dreams of a PhD and a career using technological innovation to aid development […]
Nov 29, 2012

Dare to DREAM: Tips from youth navigating Deferred Action

Leer en Español Imagine a thirteen year old boy trying to stay awake after walking more than three days in the desert. He’s so desperate for water that he drinks from a puddle where a dead body has fallen.  Now imagine that seven years later that boy can’t get a legal job, go to college or visit […]
Jan 9, 2013

Atrevete a Soñar: Consejos de jóvenes en Tacoma navegando la Acción Diferida

Read in English Imagine un niño de trece años tratando de mantenerse despierto después de caminar más de tres días en el desierto. Está tan desesperado por el agua que bebe de un charco donde un cadáver ha caído. Ahora imaginemos 7 años más tarde ese chico no puede conseguir un trabajo legal, ir a […]
Many Uch, who was detained in the INS building before it closed in the late 90's, gives one of the interviews used in "left:behind". (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Dark voices from Seattle’s immigration past

Local artist Morgan Dusatko’s experimental audio tour of Seattle’s old INS building offers a chilling, emotional journey through a facility where thousands of immigrants were once detained.
Dec 6, 2013
Guards book a new detainee into the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. The facility is run by the Geo Group, a private corrections corporation, on contract from the Department of Homeland Security

Opening their hearts to the strangers locked up in our backyard

Some Tacoma families are going out of their way to make the detainees at the Northwest Detention Center feel a little more welcome.
Feb 7, 2014
Protestors from "Not One More" link arms to block vans from leaving the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. (Photo by Jill Mangaliman)

Showdown in Tacoma blocks deportations

50 protesters locked down in front of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma yesterday in what they promised would be the first of many direct actions to block deportations.
Feb 25, 2014
The family of detainee hold signs outside Northwest Detention Center during a demonstration on Saturday. (Photo by Lael Henterly)

Hundreds stand in solidarity with detainee hunger strikers

Over 200 activists, family members of former and current immigration detainees and concerned citizens braved the elements Saturday afternoon to stand in solidarity with those being held inside the Northwest Detention Center, and at similar facilities around the nation. Organized by the activist group #Not1More Deportation, the march and rally in Tacoma coincided with events around […]
Apr 7, 2014
An unidentified detainee at the Northwest Detention Center in 2008. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

National Poetry Month: Send us your poem about immigration

April is National Poetry Month, and while there are many ways to celebrate, one I enjoy is participating in the 30/30. Writing 30 poems in 30 days, one a day, like a vitamin to stimulate the creative juices in your soul… or to taunt and frustrate you mercilessly, depending on the day. Sometimes you need a […]
Apr 14, 2014
One of the "pods" at the Northwest Detention Center, where groups of up to 250 detainees are held. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Hey, what ever happened with that hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center?

It’s not easy organizing a hunger strike inside a secure detention facility. But with nothing but time on their hands, people get resourceful. Jose Moreno, a former detainee who participated in the strike until his release March 12, broke down some of the techniques the detainees used to organize: informal sign language, messages placed between the […]
Apr 21, 2014
Dede Adhanom's son King holding family photo in a still from "Unified Struggle." (Courtesy of Guerrilla Films)

“Unified Struggle” film tackles deportation, justice, and activism

Giday “Dede” Adhanom is a mother of three living in Seattle, who has devoted most of her life to activism. She’s worked on issues of youth violence, housing access, employment, and the juvenile prison expansion. She’s also spent much of her life fighting her own deportation. In an effort to call attention to the persecution […]
Apr 23, 2014
A protestor’s 15 Now sign sits strapped to his bicycle as marchers cross the Madison St. Bridge, entering downtown. (Photo by Seth Halleran)

Mayor’s plan not enough for May Day marchers

Thousands of marchers wound their way through Seattle Thursday afternoon to advocate for worker and immigrant’s rights — and to protest Mayor Ed Murray’s brand new proposal for a $15/hour minimum wage phased-in over seven years. “Every year of a phase-in is yet another year a worker has to live in poverty!” Socialist City Council member Kshama […]
May 3, 2014
A guard at the Northwest Detention Center, a private facility owned and operated by the GEO Group, on contract from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Gates Foundation resists pressure to pull private prison investment

Earlier this week detainees at the Northwest Detention Center called an official end to their 56 day hunger strike in protest of conditions at the Tacoma facility. One of their stated victories was that the strike drew international attention to the private prison network operated by Florida-based corrections corporation the GEO Group. The storm of […]
May 8, 2014

Man convicted in Int’l District massacre deported after 31 years

One of the three men convicted in the Wah Mee Massacre — the deadliest mass murder in Seattle history— was deported to Hong Kong Tuesday. Wai-Chiu “Tony” Ng was 24 years old when he entered the Wah Mee gambling club with Benjamin Ng and Willie Mak. Mak was in debt to another club, and enlisted his two accomplices to help him […]
May 15, 2014
The Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma has been used to imprison immigrants slated for deportation since April of 2004. (Image via Google Maps)

ICE contract to house immigrant detainees opening this summer

Looking for a business opportunity? Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is looking for someone to provide secure accommodations for thousands of immigrants slated for deportation from the Northwest each year.
Jun 2, 2014
Protestors mimic force-feeding detainees at an August 2nd demonstration at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. (Photo from NWDC Resistance Facebook Page )

Tensions rise at Tacoma detention center, with little room for negotiation

Immigrant detainees in the Northwest are caught between an antagonistic federal agency, a profit-hungry corporation and a dysfunctional do-nothing Congress.
Aug 7, 2014