YAKIMA — More than 70 people suspected of being in the country illegally were loaded on to a government-chartered airliner Tuesday in Yakima, as a group of people stood nearby as witnesses.

Members of the Yakima Immigrant Response Network held a banner that read “Justice for All. We care. Te Apoyamos,” the last phrase meaning “We support you” in Spanish.

“This is not what we are about as a community,” said Mary Lopez, Yakima organizer for OneAmerica. “We welcome all people in our community.”

The Swift Air flight was the third flight chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to use the Yakima airport since May 7. In late April, King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an executive order directing that companies not service {span} charter flights operating on behalf of ICE{/span} at Boeing Field in Seattle. ICE moved those flights from Seattle to Yakima.

The 737-700 arrived from Phoenix a few minutes before 9 a.m and departed at 10:10 a.m. Those on Tuesday’s flight were bused from the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma to Yakima to board the Las Vegas-bound aircraft. A Sunday flight brought detainees who were being transferred to the Tacoma institution.

Carole Folsom-Hill, who was among the Yakima Immigrant Response Network members, said it was a human rights issue.

“These people here and in the Valley have helped businesspeople become wealthy, and now we treat them like this,” Folsom-Hill said.

City Manager Cliff Moore and newly hired Yakima Police Chief Matt Murray also were at the airport Tuesday to observe how the people were handled.

“As city manager, I feel I have to understand the protocols as much as possible,” Moore said.

Moore said the city has little recourse to ban the flights from coming to Yakima. The city’s contract with McCormick Air, the airport’s fixed base operator, requires them to service the government charters.

Acting ICE field Operations Director Bryan Wilcox confirmed to the city last week that the Yakima airport will continue to be used as a landing site to drop off and pick up detained undocumented immigrants. ICE officials released a statement high-profile criminal cases as the reason for local authorities and airports should cooperate with ICE in an effort to keep communities safe.

Lopez said network members will be at the airport each time they learn of another transfer of detainees.