Why is a Volunteer Visitation Program needed?
The Northwest Detention Center is located in Tacoma with most of the detainees from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. However, detainees may be transferred from all parts of the country. Most
detainees must await the decision of the Immigration Judge for release while their case is still pending or for the final adjudication of their case that allows them to continue their lives in the U.S. or to be removed
from the U.S. While they wait, they endure frustrations associated with being locked up and the social isolation of separation from family, community and jobs. As their detention time increases, they need human support.
How can visits from a stranger help people in detention?
Some people can be held for months before being released or deported. Many have come from a
distance and do not have friends or family near enough to visit regularly. Many worry for families left
without their support. For these and others, the need for emotional support may become acute. In the
face of isolation and alienation, friendly and consistent visits from community members can provide a
sense of connection to the outside world.