The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) agency's brutish and unethical tactics were on display when they mistakenly attempted to arrest and detain U.S. citizen Isidro Andrade-Tafolla on September 19 outside of the Washington County Courthouse. I.C.E agents regularly dress in street clothes, follow individuals around the Washington County Courthouse, accost them and demand to be shown personal identification without identifying themselves as I.C.E agents.
I.C.E agents have arrested 10 people at the Washington County Courthouse since April 2017 according to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) observers. Andrade-Tafolla was racially profiled and harassed but was not ultimately taken into custody.
When arrested, suspects are transported out-of-state and jailed at the Tacoma, Washington detention center, where they face immigration court proceedings. These are high-stakes court proceedings and yet the detained immigrant is not provided with a public defender. The result being that the vast majority of arrested immigrants are left to navigate the complex legal system without the advice of an attorney.
Defensa de la Dignidad is a grassroots organization raising funds to make legal representation possible for our immigrant neighbors.