City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said today in a tweet that Portland does not have the legal power to kick U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement out of its leased office space on the South Waterfront.
Eudaly's office tells WW that a Bureau of Development Services official determined Portland has no legal grounds to revoke a conditional use permit awarded to ICE, unless the federal agency violates the terms of the permit. Her office says a city attorney supported the determination, outlined in a city memo.
"The Zoning Code does allow reconsideration of land use approvals," the city memo says, "but only in situations where there is a pattern that the use is operating in violation of the original decision, including any conditions of approval associated with that decision."
The city permit allows ICE to operate its facility on Southwest Macadam Avenue, where federal agents can detain immigrants in cells for up to 12 hours.
"[The permit is] indefinite unless there is a violation of the Conditional Use terms, which we have no evidence of," Eudaly said. "But this setback won't stop #AbolishICE momentum."
Eudaly has been the most vocal city official supporting of the protest surrounding the ICE building, the first of its kind in the U.S.
Protesters camping outside of the building, which the federal government leases from a private landlord, have been calling on city officials to revoke the permit and drive ICE out of Portland.
The Occupy ICE camp has also called on the landlord to break his lease with ICE.