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deportation

An immigrant detainee knits at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

President Trump’s vow to crack down on illegal immigration has focused renewed attention on the detention centers built to hold immigrants awaiting deportation.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

This relationship started off with reservations.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

When people face deportation at a court in Seattle or Tacoma, and they don’t have an attorney, the immigration judge will often drop a name: The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

The group’s legal staff provides free help filling out forms and translating documents – even if an attorney can’t take on the full case.


Faith communities gather on May Day 2017 at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood to declare their support for immigrants and refugees.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The sanctuary movement that was part of the Seattle faith community in the 1980s is back.

Department Homeland Security

Federal immigration agents arrested 84 people in a Northwest sweep this past weekend. Most were in Washington state, and most had criminal convictions.


Since 2011, Washington’s prison system has deported 339 convicted felons instead of locking them up. The deportations are part of a voluntary program designed to reduce prison costs.

Father Antonio Illas was federal immigration agent for 25 years before becoming a priest.
KUOW Photo/Andy Hurst

Father Antonio Illas was a federal immigration agent for 25 years before he turned his life to God.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

About a dozen counties in Washington state are singled out in a new report from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.  It’s the first of an ongoing weekly report that spotlights local jails considered “uncooperative” on federal immigration enforcement.

Lois Silver

UPDATE: 3/08/17, 3:50 p.m. PT 

Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 'dreamer' recently arrested near Seattle despite his DACA status, will remain in immigration detention.

A federal judge said he’ll make a decision early next week about whether to release Ramirez from a Tacoma lockup, where he has been held since Feb. 10. Ramirez is asking the court to find that his arrest violated his constitutional rights.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

At the moment, border patrol agents can quickly deport someone within 100 miles of the southern border, and within 14 days of their arrival in the U.S. 


Bill Radke talks with KUOW immigration reporter Liz Jones about the arrest and detention of Daniel Ramirez Medina, who's been held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma since Friday. Ramirez has temporary legal status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. His attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit seeking his immediate release.

Northwest Detention Center, Tacoma, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

An immigrant in Seattle with temporary legal status through the DACA or “dreamer” program is currently being held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. It’s believed to be the first immigration arrest of its kind under the Trump administration.

When he was in prison, Lorenzo Palma strongly suspected he was an American citizen. He had spent his whole life in the United States, and he knew his grandfather was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1914.

Palma had served five years for an assault conviction and was about to be released on parole, but immigration officials had stopped his release because they wanted to deport him. They said he wasn't a U.S. citizen.

Eli Tinoco, mother of two American children, would have qualified for the DAPA program, which remains blocked after a split court decision.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Immigrants and advocates around the Seattle area say their fight is far from over. The recent Supreme Court ruling is a setback, they say, and also a catalyst to focus on the presidential election. 

Roberta (far right) with her father and two brothers. The younger brother went to Mexico with her parents.
Courtesy of Roberta Lirma

When Roberta Lirma thinks of her childhood, she pictures her whole family together, outside their light brown apartment building in Auburn.

Her dad would be fixing the car, while her mom sat on the stairs and watched Lirma and her two brothers play.

"We would climb trees or go to the store with our friends," she remembered. "I miss that."

A file picture from Oct. 17, 2008, shows the 'B' cell and bunk unit of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Guaranteed payments to contractors at federal detention centers have helped to create a quota system for immigration enforcement, according to a report released Thursday by advocates for detainees.

In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas. About 70 children from the border have been placed with foster families in Washington state.
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Sara, 20, is a Mexican student in Des Moines, Washington, a half hour south of Seattle. She wears her hair in two braids, tucked under her black knit hat. White ear buds hang from her collar. She’s friendly, but far from talkative.

We meet in a small meeting room at Highline Community College, where she is taking a GED-prep class. She looks out the window as she recalls her first days in the U.S., at an immigration holding shelter in California. 

A federal judge in Seattle heard arguments Friday in a potentially far-reaching immigration case. At issue is whether children who face deportation alone are entitled to an attorney, at the government’s expense. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

TRANSCRIPT:

There’s a rising trend of children coming alone to the U.S., unlawfully crossing the southern border. Most are from Mexico and Central America. They’re often called  ‘unaccompanied minors’.

Buses used to trasport detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. The center is operated by the GEO Group, a private contractor.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A few dozen demonstrators waved signs outside an immigration lockup in Tacoma this morning. They were there to support a detainee who led a large hunger strike inside the detention center last year.

Liz Jones / KUOW

How do you explain deportation to a child?

A Seattle mom grappled with this question when her son’s best friend Jorge shared a secret one night at dinner. Her son Ronan was 6 at the time.

A dozen protesters block the entrance to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma in February 2014. Deportations from the Northwest have declined by nearly half, but now a larger proportion of deportees have a clean record.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a hearing on Friday about concerns at immigration detention centers. That includes the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, one of the largest in the country.

law court crime
Flickr Photo/Joe Gratz (CC BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/bkUna

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson formally weighed in Monday on a federal lawsuit related to immigration. The suit challenges President Obama’s plan to offer legal protections to millions of undocumented immigrants. 

A dozen protesters block the entrance to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma in February 2014. Deportations from the Northwest have declined by nearly half, but now a larger proportion of deportees have a clean record.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

  Deportations of undocumented immigrants declined across the country this year. But in the Pacific Northwest, the numbers took a nosedive. New data show U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported only about half as many people as last year from Oregon, Washington and Alaska. 

In fiscal year 2014, ICE deported 2,341 people from the Northwest compared to 4,525 the year before. That's a drop of 48 percent.

Sylvia Gonzales hugs a friend after President Obama's immigration announcement
Liz Jones / KUOW

Immigrant workers and families gathered at locations across Washington state last night to hear President Obama’s immigration announcement. KUOW’s Liz Jones was at one of those watch parties in Seattle’s Central District, and filed this report.

TRANSCRIPT

Around a hundred parents, children and workers packed into a meeting room at Casa Latina. It’s a day labor center in Seattle. The evening started upbeat.

[Sound of chanting: "Si se puede!"]

This week in Seattle, a 10-year-old boy is scheduled to appear in immigration court along with his teenage brother and sister. The siblings fled to the United States to escape violence after gang members in El Salvador killed their father. Now they all face deportation, but no lawyer will represent them in court.

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

A flood of immigrant children arriving at the border with Mexico could end up in Washington state at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

A file picture from Oct. 17, 2008, shows the 'B' cell and bunk unit of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma recently ended after nearly two months, but the ripple effects continue. U.S. Congressman Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, plans to introduce a bill Thursday that would change how federal agencies operate and audit detention centers.

A file picture from Oct. 17, 2008, shows the 'B' cell and bunk unit of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Several immigrants being held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma have been moved to isolation after a recent hunger strike at the facility.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

As a hunger strike continues at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, a new federal court ruling coincidentally meets one of the protesters' demands.

A file picture from Oct. 17, 2008, shows the 'B' cell and bunk unit of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

More than a hundred detainees at an immigration lockup in Tacoma are entering their fifth day without food. The hunger strike began Friday, with about 750 people refusing to eat.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stepped up medical observations for the protesters.

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