Last week, activists with La Resistencia and allied groups lobbied the Tacoma City Council to shut down the Northwest Detention Center (now being rebranded as the Northwest ICE Processing Center) once and for all.
The City Council unfortunately responded by abdicating all responsibility for the privately run immigration prison, which the council unanimously voted to support before it opened in 2000.
Council members made it clear they are afraid of another lawsuit from GEO group, the company that runs the center, which brought in $70 million for GEO this year.
Northwest Detention Center is a moral stain on Tacoma and is tearing our community apart. Does GEO get a free pass to continue profiting off human misery and racist immigration policies just because, as Councilman Keith Blocker noted, GEO has a budget larger than the City of Tacoma’s general fund budget?
We elect our officials expecting creativity and courage in response to difficult problems, and they need to step up on the detention center.
Until they do, we will continue to be the city that shrugged its shoulders while 1,500 immigrants are locked up in inhumane conditions in our backyard.
Hillel Samlan, Tacoma