Portland fines ICE for erecting fence meant to ward off raging protesters: ‘Way too high’

The city of Portland took another step to the left, issuing a fine to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a fence meant to protect its employees.

The Oregon city’s Bureau of Development Services issued the correction notice for a fence on ICE’s southwest Portland facility on Monday, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

(Image: Dirk VanderHart/OPB)

ICE built the fence last week following weeks of protest at the site which forced federal officials to stop working at the building following a stand down order to Portland police by mayor Ted Wheeler and police chief Danielle Outlaw.

Sixteen people have been arrested at the Occupy ICE PDX camp since the occupation first began June 17, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Protesters arrested this week were given multiple warnings to move away from the driveway of the ICE facility, Robert Sperling, a spokesperson with the Department of Homeland Security, said.

The “no-climb” fence was erected last week in hopes of increasing security and minimizing the number of law enforcement needed around the facility, Sperling said, according to Oregon Live.

“Upon examination, the inspector found that the fence was more than eight feet tall, which is a violation of Oregon Structural Specialty Code,” the city of Portland said in a statement. “A formal letter will be sent to the property owner. The property owner is required to respond to the correction notice within 10 days of receipt.”

A Portland Bureau of Transportation inspector in the neighborhood “noticed the fence was way too high,” according to Bureau spokesman Thomas Ngo who said that proper permits to build a fence higher than 7 feet tall were not obtained by federal officials.

According to Oregon Public Broadcasting:

The city’s citation is notable in part because Chloe Eudaly, the city commissioner who oversees code enforcement, has been a vocal critic of federal immigration policy and has expressed support for the camp. But Eudaly’s chief of staff, Marshall Runkel, said Monday that she hadn’t directed the inspector to visit the site.

Citing Monday’s arrest of two protestors by federal officers, Runkel said, “I can tell you that the fence is providing some useful functions. It’s a dangerous situation down there.”


Ngo is not expecting any swift action by ICE but plans to send a formal violation letter to the property owner.

“They’ll probably just keep it up anyway,” Ngo said.

Monday’s protests saw arrests made when individuals allegedly crossed into federal property and attempted to tear down a tape line outside the facility. Two of the people arrested allegedly assaulted an officer.

Video of one of the arrests shows what the federal officials are having to deal with as demonstrators protest President Trump’s immigration policies.

While the city of Portland has decided a code violation for a fence to protect ICE employees is warranted, it apparently gives a green light to protesters to use shipping pallets, tents and tarps to create their own makeshift fences – even if they obstruct roads and railroad tracks.

(Image: screengrab KATU)

(Photo by Tristan Fortsch/KATU News)


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