Who we are
The Advocates for Immigrants in Detention Northwest (AID NW), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is dedicated to serving detained immigrants at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC.) When immigrants are unable to hear the voices of family and friends because of lack of resources, we end that silence. When immigrants do not have anyone able to visit them, we end that isolation. When detained immigrants are identified as eligible for release from detention, we work to obtain their release, including sponsorship when the immigrants have no one else they can depend on. When immigrants are released from the NWDC, hundreds or even thousands of miles from friends or families, our Welcome Center and Housing Network provide a safe, supportive environment until reunification with those loved ones can happen. With our incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers, AID NW offers immigrants a touch of humanity during and post-detention.
Originally called the NWDC Roundtable, the organization held its first bimonthly meeting in November 2005, one and ½ years after the NWDC began booking immigrants into its new 500 bed facility located in the tide flats of Tacoma. Our broadly diverse members and meeting participants include concerned individuals and representatives of advocacy groups, social service agencies, churches and other faith-based organizations, Congressional liaisons, and officials from Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) and The GEO Group Inc., a private firm that owns and operates the NWDC. The goal of the NWDC Roundtable’s attendees was – and still is – to use their collective knowledge and experience to provide the most effective practical help to detained immigrants and their families, and to increase awareness about the NWDC, which became one of the largest in the nation in 2009 with 1,575 beds.
What we do
- We provide assistance. Our Phone Access and Volunteer Visitation Programs improve detention conditions by ending the isolation of detained immigrants, and our book drive offers relief from the boredom of detention with inspirational and recreational reading materials. Our Welcome Center and Post-Detention Accompaniment Network (PDAN) volunteers offer safe release services and social and community assimilation support. Our Housing Network ensures that newly released immigrants stay in a safe environment as they transition to independent living in the U.S.
- We increase awareness of the NWDC. We offer community-wide educational programs on detention issues specific to the NWDC during our bimonthly meetings and give presentations to churches, schools and universities, civic groups and community organizations.
- We advocate. On behalf of detained immigrants and their families, we meet with legislators and other decision-makers to shift policy toward a more just system that respects the dignity and worth of all immigrants.
How you can help
Advocate – Join our email group and receive regular updates on ways to assist, increase awareness and advocate.
Join – Become an annual dues paying member of AID NW. Levels of membership: Individual – $100. Organization – $250. Supporter – $1,000. Pillar – $2,500.
Donate – Provide food, clothing and toiletries, or make a designated cash donation to one of AID NW’s programs or projects.
Participate – Bring family, friends and colleagues to bimonthly informational meetings (odd months on the 3rd Wednesday) and other events of AID NW. Invite AID NW to give a presentation at your work, church or organization.
Volunteer – Visit a detained immigrant. Greet immigrants at the Welcome Center. Provide transportation or other assistance to immigrants staying in our Hospitality House. Share your office skills.
Who to contact
AID NW Office Phone (253) 572-9659 / Welcome Center phone (253) 343-4324
Administrative/Office Support – firstname.lastname@example.org
AID NW Community Presentations and fundraising – email@example.com
Cash Donations and Membership Dues – firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations of food, clothing and toiletries – email@example.com
Hospitality House – firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitation Program – email@example.com
Welcome Center – firstname.lastname@example.org