Monday’s three hour protest against deportation didn’t prevent buses full of immigrants from driving away. At the federal Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, about 50 people showed up on Monday morning to protest the deportation of many immigrants. The congregation lasted from about 6:30 until 9:30 a.m. The protestors were from an organization called “Not One More Deportation”. This group has held protests in Phoenix, Chicago and Atlanta, among other cities. The protest date was chosen specifically, because buses to take immigrants to the airport usually depart from the detention center on Mondays. The Northwest Detention Center can house about 1,600 people. Its occupants are those who have violated immigration laws in some way. A 2008 study by Seattle University declared the conditions in this facility to be subpar. Not One More Deportation’s protestors say that they object to many of the immigration laws on the grounds that they are unfair, and many suffer as a consequence of unjust deportation. One of the protestors was cited for disorderly conduct, and very briefly detained. Michelle Manrique, the arrested protestor, held herself in front of one of the departing vehicles to try and prevent it from leaving. Her husband was scheduled to be deported from that facility that day; the bus had left by the time she got out of detainment. She was not the only protestor to be separated from her family that day; one participant carried a sign saying “Please don’t send my daddy back home. I need him here.” Not One More Deportation attempts to protest what they call unfair deportation laws through a variety of tangible ways. “By collectively challenging unfair deportations and inequality through organizing, art, legislation, and action, we aim to reverse criminalization, build migrant power, and create immigration policies based on principles of inclusion,” reads their website’s “About” section. Among some of their other endeavors are artistic projects. On their website is a gallery of different artistic expressions of immigration, including posters, songs, videos, sculpture and poetry. Amidst the works is a poem written for an immigrant baby named Esperanza. One verse goes “No special star on high this time/ To mark her tiny holy place/ No scent of myrrh or frankincense/ To anoint her newborn migrant face,” seemingly drawing parallels between the Christian religion and immigration. The protestors argue that Obama has deported much too
many immigrants, more than the Bush administration. They cite that deportation rates hit an all-time high in 2012, with about 400,000 immigrants deported. The Obama administration has deported about 2 million immigrants overall. Not One More Deportation’s mission statement ends with a goal. “Together we say: not one more family destroyed, not one more day without equality, not one more indifferent reaction to suffering, not one more deportation.”
Lena Beck is a freshman Humanities for Leadership major. She does best with ample access to coffee, and enjoys people-watching from the top of parking garages.