Illegal Immigrants Still Flying Out of Yakima
ICE flights will continue at the Yakima Air Terminal-McAllister Field. And they continue despite efforts in the past by the Yakima City Council to stop the federal government from using the airport for the flights.
THE FLIGHTS HAPPEN EVERY WEEK
U.S. Immigration flights happen at 10:00AM every Tuesday at the Yakima Air Terminal. Federal officials say there were fewer detainees flying in and out of the state on flights chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Yakima this year compared to last year but they continue.
In fact federal officials continued the ICE-chartered flights weekly during the pandemic. Information from the Yakima Immigrant Response Network estimated at least 169 detainees deplaned and were taken to the detention center and about 1,029 arrived from the center to board planes in 2020.
YAKIMA LEADERS TRIED TO STOP THE FLIGHTS
In 2019 the Yakima City Council voted against stopping the flights even though some council members were fighting to stop the feds from landing in Yakima.
In the end the council voted in favor of setting up a future meeting with city lobbyists to talk about the concerns of Yakima residents and about immigration reform in general.
According to the web page of the Yakima Immigrant Response Network "the detainees who arrive on the Swift Air flights from El Paso, Phoenix, Denver and Las Vegas, or World Atlantic Airlines flights from San Antonio, are then bused to the private, for-profit prison in Tacoma called the Northwest ICE Processing Center (formerly the Northwest Detention Center) run by the GEO Group.
Detainees who arrive on GEO Group Transportation Division buses (white buses with darkened, grilled windows) from Tacoma, must board the plane to be flown to the border towns of Phoenix, El Paso or Brownsville for deportation, or on to Miami for deportation flights to Central America."