Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: northwest detention center

April
2nd

IMMIGRATION: Shocking situation at detention center

Something shocking is going on one half mile from downtown Tacoma. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is arresting people by going into their homes at 5 and 6 in the morning, people who are undocumented workers in many different jobs, sometimes in the U.S. as many as 20 to 25 years.

Most of those arrested have done nothing wrong in their lives, but are put into the Northwest Detention Center and very often quickly deported. Those in the prison are not entitled to public defense, immigration lawyers’ fees can be more than the detainees’ families can afford, and bail is too high.

Read more »

March
13th

BICHSEL: Bix was a true hero

Michael Honey’s homage to Father Bichsel (Your Voice, 3-9) beautifully recognizes a native son. But though Bix would deny it, he meets Joseph Campbell’s definition of a hero: someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

Having often walked with Bix for social justice in the past 10 years, I will only add one personal story. In 2007, we were a small march of perhaps 30 calling for the closing of the Northwest Detention Center on the Tacoma Tideflats, a for-profit prison known for human rights abuses.

While on the sidewalk on Pacific Avenue and

Read more »

June
16th

TACOMA: Detainees’ families undergo hardship

There is institutional cruelty ongoing in Tacoma, and we’d better be aware of it.

The Northwest Detention Center on East J Street houses 1,500 detainees, most of whom have done nothing wrong in their lives except to lack documentation. Different groups of people have been at the prison on weekends for the last five or more years to show compassion for the loved ones who visit their detainees.

The stories from the visitors are full of financial and emotional rupture. The situation with detainees’ children is heartbreaking: If there isn’t a relative to care for the children, they are placed

Read more »

April
14th

PRISON: Hunger strike ongoing at detention center

Aren’t prisons supposed to protect citizens from those who have made poor choices? Well, we have a prison right here in Tacoma on 1623 E. J St. for people, two-thirds of whom have done nothing wrong in their lives except to lack proper documentation.

On April 5, about 700 people from all over Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho came to the Northwest Detention Center to support the 700 of the 1,350 detainees on a hunger strike in protest of conditions in the prison and in protest of the continual deportations.

Supporters of the detainees have been at the prison every

Read more »

Sep.
11th

TACOMA: Broken immigration system needs reform

Thanks to Lewis Kamb and The News Tribune for the outstanding article, “Center of Detention” (TNT, 9-9). The Northwest Detention Center is a key piece of a much larger immigration picture, and its presence has profound implications for our city.

Rarely have I seen an article provide the depth and breadth of coverage seen here, and I eagerly await the rest of the series. My hope is that your coverage will help spread awareness of the center, move us to assure acceptable conditions for detainees, mitigate negative impacts on the city and eventually lead to a complete reform of

Read more »