Michael Rollins, KGW-TV, June 28, 2018
Nine people were arrested Thursday morning after federal officers in riot gear moved in to clear the entrance to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement holding facility in Southwest Portland.
The ICE facility has been closed since Wednesday, June 20 after the protest group, calling themselves Occupy ICE PDX, set up camp with the goal of shutting down the immigration enforcement agency.
Officers cleared the entrance to the building and arrested eight people who were taken to the federal courthouse in downtown Portland. A ninth was taken into custody later in the morning.
Activists said they are represented by the National Lawyers Guild.
Sperling did not know what charges were posted against those detained. He described the sweep of the entrance as peaceful.
Police took no action against those who set up a camp alongside the building. Sperling said those outside ICE property would not be removed, and police would not interact with them.
“We don’t want to impede their freedom of speech,” he said.
He said to expect a federal police presence around the ICE building “for the foreseeable future,” and that the next step was for the facility to reopen for “business as usual” sometime next week.
As officers cleared the entrance Thursday morning, truckloads of tents, boards, even a couch, were hauled away from the entrance.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, who also serves as police commissioner, has declined to provide assistance from the Portland Police Bureau to Department of Homeland Security during the siege.
Social media posts on Thursday morning showed Portland police vehicles blocking traffic near the protest. The Portland Police Bureau said that action was in order to identify alternative routes for drivers.
“In line with the Mayor and Police Commissioner’s directions, the Police Bureau was not involved in the Federal Protective Services (FPS) actions as it related to Occupy ICE PDX,” said PPB Sgt. Chris Burley. “Portland Police Bureau officers recognized the need to assist motorists in identifying alternative routes around road closures due to actions related to Occupy ICE PDX.”
“As of approximately 8:10 a.m., the Portland Police Bureau is no longer providing traffic control and other agencies have taken over diverting traffic,” Burley said.
Sperling said the two police agencies continue a cooperative relationship and that Portland police were made aware of the action Thursday morning.
Sinclair said that since Portland is a sanctuary city, ICE is the agency who is violating the law. Her group, Occupy ICE PDX, wants ICE removed from Oregon and abolished in its entirety as a federal agency.
The Occupy ICE PDX protest is in its second week. Thursday marked the ninth day the Portland ICE holding facility has been closed because of the protests.