Coming soon to SW Portland: Would you believe an immigration jail?Jack Bog’s Blog]
An alert reader writes:
Here is a juicy tidbit about the SoWhat District I thought I would pass along. I have a friend who works over at GBD Architecture in the Pearl. S/he tells me that the firm is designing an immigration jail for ICE (the renamed INS) to be housed at 4310 SW Macadam. The building is right by the Old Spaghetti Factory and a bank of new condos. Obviously the city is trying to keep it on the down-low and ram it through without all the new or prospective condo homeowners learning about the prison. The prison is supposedly going to be like the overcrowded NW Detention Center in Tacoma. I did some checking and it looks like the people who are housed in these jails are mainly convicted criminals from the state system (felons like drug traffickers, rapists, and other violent crimes) along with the unlucky individuals who get picked up in immigration sweeps. They sit in the jail until an immigration judge decides their fate. That can’t be good for local business or individual property values. I guess the city is more concerned about collecting revenue from the federal government than they are about the image of the SoWhat.
Looking at the permits on Portland Maps it seems like there is a flurry of activity on the building since June. I can only imagine they are trying to get the process far enough along that the SoWhat homeowners associations can’t stop it. I thought our progressive city wouldn’t accept an immigration prison but I guess I was wrong. The city was so quick to jump on the boycott Arizona with their self-righteous resolution condemning the law. Hey, maybe renaming NE 39th Cesar Chavez Blvd. was to make up for the fact they knew they were conspiring against migrants in secret. I wonder if they are going to transport prisoners by light rail? Go by streetcar!
Drove by today, and the Public Notice sign is up in front of the building. They are moving quick.