Above Photo: From Thenorthstar.info
Activists Calling for the Abolition of ICE Blocking Seattle Streets
outside of Homeland Security Building
Lock Down Action Draws Attention to Seattle’s Deportation Epicenter as part of
National “Chinga La Migra” [Abolish ICE] tour
What: “Chinga La Migra” (Abolish ICE) Lock Down Action on 2nd Avenue
When: HAPPENING NOW: Tuesday June 5th, 7:30 am onwards
Where: 1000 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, Local headquarters of ICE, CBP, and Immigration Court
Who: Members of Northwest Detention Center Resistance and Mijente locked down and rallying against ICE and in support of those facing deportation.
Seattle, WA – Early yesterday morning, activists with Northwest Detention Center Resistance and Mijente locked down outside of 1000 2nd Avenue in downtown Seattle, Washington, calling attention to the building’s role as Washington State’s deportation epicenter. The building, owned by billionaire developer Martin Selig, houses regional offices for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and Office of Chief Counsel, regional offices for Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of Justice-controlled Seattle Immigration Court. The lockdown is part of the launch of the “Chinga La Migra” organizing tour to tell the story of what the deportation crisis under President Trump looks like in real time, and amplify the efforts and stories of resistance.
Balloons attached to protesters blocking morning traffic spelled out “Chinga la Migra.” Explaining the significance of the phrase, Marisa Franco, Executive Director of Mijente stated, “Chinga la Migra is a battle cry. We think it’s time to stop waiting for Trump to tweet and start exposing the real trends inside of his Enforcement-first Administration.” The US spends more money on immigration enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. The immigration agencies function with virtually no oversight, and take direction from an openly xenophobic President.
Immigrant activists Maru Mora Villalpando of Northwest Detention Center Resistance herself faces deportation in the Immigration Court housed at 1000 2nd Avenue due to her anti-ICE activism. ICE received Mora Villalpando’s information directly from the Washington Department of Licensing. She stated, “This building serves as the epicenter for the deportation pipeline in Washington State. Seattle presents itself as a sanctuary city, while several floors of this downtown building house the offices of the very people tearing our communities apart. Trump’s cops have no place in our city, and we want them gone. From 1000 2nd Avenue in Seattle to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, we say, ICE out of Washington State.” Protesters are demanding that Martin Selig Real Estate stop renting office space to Trump’s deportation forces.
This morning’s shutdown action follows last night’s sundown noise and light demonstration at the now infamous Northwest Detention Center that drew attention to the unrelenting struggle against detention in Washington state under the leadership of those detained. With over a dozen hunger strikes in the past three years and increasing retaliation by ICE and GEO Group (who jointly run the facility) against people detained, the resistance has nevertheless continued. Washington State is only the first stop in the national Chinga la Migra tour, which heads from here to Chicago, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Mora-Villalpando concluded, “More than ever, it’s important for us to stand against an agency that has become Trump’s police force. Until this detention center shuts down, until deportations end, and until ICE is abolished, our work will continue.”
“Chinga La Migra” Tour is a Project of Mijente. Mijente is a digital and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx movement building and organizing that seeks to increase the profile of policy issues that matter to our communities and increase the participation of Latinx and Chicanx people in the broader movements for racial, economic, climate and gender justice.
NWDC Resistance is a volunteer community group that emerged to fight deportations in 2014 at the now-infamous Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. NWDC Resistance supports people detained who organized hunger strikes asking for a halt to all deportations and better treatment and conditions.