ICE Temporarily Shutters Portland Facility Due To ‘Occupy’ Protest

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Above Photo: ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES. A loud cheer comes after the moments of silence at the end of the vigil at OccupyICEPDX, just in front of the ICE Portland Headquarters in SW Macadam on June 19, 2018, in Portland, Oregon.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports:
“Demonstrators have also been camping outside the building and festooning the area with signs with slogans like “Kick out ICE” and “Will trade racists for refugees.” Two tents on Monday evening had increased to six by Tuesday morning. Twenty-four hours later, nearly 30 tents had been erected, with at least seven set up on a driveway to the building’s property.

Tents line trolley tracks outside the ICE facility in Southwest Portland, Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
Dirk VanderHart/OPB

“The encampment — largely grassroots, but supported by a coalition of local groups — also has a medical tent and a kitchen area overflowing with donated water and food. A handful of tents on Wednesday sat near signs that read, ‘Family Camp. This space is for childcare and parents to rest. Please be mindful when near this space.’”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Portland office temporarily shut its doors due to ongoing protests against the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy which leads to children being separated from their parents.

“ICE operations at this location have been temporarily halted due to security concerns,” an ICE spokesman said Wednesday in a statement reported by Oregon Public Radio. “Normal operations will resume once security concerns have been addressed.”

Dozens of protesters have been gathered outside the office since Sunday, holding up signs and banners (some comparing the agency to the Gestapo) and setting up tents in light of the rollout of the new policy, which has meant that every person crossing the border at an unofficial point of entry gets detained. So far, more than 2,300 children have been split up from their parents.

“We want the zero-tolerance policy to end. We want children to be released from cages,” Antonio Zamora, a demonstrator, told KATU. The news outlet reported that ICE employees were escorted out of the building by police on Tuesday.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called the family separation policy “an abomination” and tweeted his support for the protesters, urging the police not to break up the demonstrations.

Meanwhile, local immigration lawyers said Wednesday that at least four children who have been separated from their parents since April have been brought to the Portland area.

Backlash continues to grow as more details ― children are being flown hundreds of miles away from their parents ― continue to be unearthed. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that will prevent family separation going forward, but the “zero tolerance” policy will continue through a massive expansion of detention of both kids and parents.

  • rgaura

    It is heartening to see people awakened to the cruelty of ICE. These detention centres were set up by the Obama administration, and the policies have been punitive and designed to create extractive industries; private incarceration complexes like DOJ contracts with. There are lawsuits going back to 2015 by teenagers who crossed the border and are regularly beaten and shackled in Virginia, and many cases of small children drugged against their will (Texas) and without any permission from their parents. Some with 8 dangerous medications, or 18 pills per day. This is not new to the Trump administration. What is new is the illegal denial of rights to asylum seekers at the border.
    The larger context that most do not report on is the systematic destruction of civil societies in central america, which has gone on for long enough to have turned some of these countries into failed societies, where people live in terror, without services or adequate wages to feed their families. The Obama/HRC were the only administration of all of the americas to back the Honduran coup, so that they could establish another military base in that benighted country. Since then, femicide is rampant and human rights activists are murdered with impunity. El Salvador has been turned into a society of PTSD due to the rampant violence.
    The destabilisation of these countries mirrors the destabilisation of many inner city neighbourhoods here in the US. We would do well to note the MO. It began with the cocaine imports, the destruction of job opportunities, and the creating of the carcereal complex, and slave labor jobs within it.
    Como nos decía el poeta Neruda; En salvando El Salvador, salvaremos el mundo.
    The question remains, will we descend to a PTSD society as well, or stand up and take responsibility for these refugees and their countries that our policies and actions have so damaged?

  • Jon

    Zero Tolerance FOR “zero tolerance.”