August 4, 2017 NWDC Resistance
BREAKING: Northwest Detention Center on Lockdown Following Guard Beating of 18-Year-Old
Even attorneys are being turned away from visiting their imprisoned immigrant clients
Tacoma, WA – At five this morning, immigrants detained in at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) began e-mailing supporters with reports of a lockdown in section F3 of the facility. The NWDC, the largest immigrant detention center on the West Coast, has been the site of frequent protests, including a recent series of hunger strikes. The lockdown was triggered after a guard assaulted an 18-year-old detained at the facility, and those witnessing the assault vocally protested the mistreatment. Lights have been turned off and those detained are not being allowed to make any phone calls.
Upon hearing of the assault, community members arrived at the Northwest Detention Center to show support. They witnessed the entire facility on lockdown, with family members who had driven many hours to visit their loved ones turned away. While attorneys were initially being allowed in, as of this afternoon, everyone was being turned away, including attorneys seeking access to their imprisoned clients.
To those who have been closely watching the GEO Group-run facility, this latest incident is unsurprising if appalling. GEO Group, who contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to run the immigrant prison for profit, recently fired around 25 NWDC employees, seeking to use a smaller pool of workers for longer hours. Maru Mora Villalpando of NWDC Resistance commented on the violence: “Fewer workers with no training are the perfect recipe for this latest violence against those caged. This incident yet again proves that ICE and GEO cannot hold people safely, and that the NWDC needs to be shut down.”
Supporters continue to gather outside the facility in an attempt to bear witness to the unfolding violence.