As the Washington State Attorney General noted on September 20, “These detainees are part of civil immigration proceedings. They are not in jail. They are held in a private facility, run by an out-of-state, for-profit corporation.” The Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) is not a correctional facility, and should not be regulated as such.
Why is this important?
On May 4, 2017, GEO Group filed a complaint against the City of Tacoma, claiming that the NWDC is a correctional facility, and should be granted preferential treatment as an "essential public facility." On September 20, 2017, the State of Washington filed suit against GEO Group for violating minimum wage laws, noting that the NWDC is not a correctional facility. We call on the City to acknowledge this legal distinction and call on GEO Group to respect city, state and federal laws.
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