sanctuary cities

Oregon’s Washington County Third in Foreign National Crime in September 2017

On September 1, 2017 Oregon’s Washington County had 202 of the 971 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) prison system; the county was third in foreign national crime in the state with 20.80 percent of the criminal aliens in DOC prisons.

The following table reveals how Washington County residents were harmed or victimized by the 202 criminal aliens incarcerated on September 1st in the DOC prison system with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigration detainers.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Crime

Total Number of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers in DOC Prisons from Washington County by Type of Crime

Percentage of Inmates W/ICE Detainers in DOC Prisons from Washington County by Type of Crime

Sex Abuse

48

23.76%

Rape

44

21.78%

Homicide

21

10.40%

Assault

20

9.90%

Sodomy

20

9.90%

Drugs

19

9.41%

Robbery

12

5.94%

Burglary

6

2.97%

Kidnapping

3

1.49%

Theft

3

1.49%

Driving Offense

2

0.99%

Arson

0

0.00%

Escape

0

0.00%

Forgery

0

0.00%

Vehicle Theft

0

0.00%

Other / Combination Crimes

4

1.98%

Total

202

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 September 17.

This table reveals, using the DOC ICE detainer numbers from September 1st, the total number of criminal alien inmates incarcerated in the DOC prison system by type of crime from all Oregon counties, the total number of criminal alien inmates from Washington County in DOC prisons by type of crime and the percentage of those alien inmates who were from the county by type of crime.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Crime

Total number of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers in DOC Prisons from all Oregon Counties by Type of Crime

Total number of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers in DOC Prisons from Washington County by Type of Crime

Percentage of Inmates W/ICE Detainers in DOC Prisons from Washington County by Type of Crime

Sex Abuse

197

48

24.37%

Rape

174

44

25.29%

Homicide

137

21

15.33%

Drugs

107

19

17.76%

Sodomy

97

20

20.62%

Assault

79

20

25.32%

Robbery

49

12

24.49%

Burglary

24

6

25.00%

Kidnapping

24

3

12.50%

Theft

15

3

20.00%

Driving Offense

8

2

25.00%

Vehicle Theft

4

0

0.00%

Arson

0

0

0.00%

Forgery

0

0

0.00%

Escape

0

0

0.00%

Other / Combination crimes

56

4

7.14%

Total

971

202

 

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 September 17.

The following table reveals the self-declared countries of origin of the majority of the 202 criminal aliens with ICE immigration detainers who have harmed or victimized the residents Washington County in the DOC prison system.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Country

Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers from Washington Country by Country of Origin in DOC Prisons

Percentage of Inmates W/ICE Detainers by Country of Origin from Washington County in DOC Prisons

Mexico

156

77.23%

Guatemala

9

4.46%

Cuba

5

2.48%

EL Salvador

4

1.98%

Federated States of Micronesia

3

1.49%

Honduras

3

1.49%

Philippines

2

0.99%

Ukraine

2

0.99%

Other Countries

18

8.91%

Total

202

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 September 17.

Criminal aliens from 26 different countries have harmed or victimized the residents of Washington County.

David Olen Cross of Salem, Oregon writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. This report is a service to Oregon state, county and city governmental officials in Washington County to help them assess the impact of foreign national crime in the county. He can be reached at docfnc@yahoo.com or at http://docfnc.wordpress.com/

California becomes ‘sanctuary state’ as governor signs bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown signed “sanctuary state” legislation Thursday that extends protections for immigrants living in the United States illegally — a move that gives the nation’s most populous state another tool to fight President Donald Trump.

Brown’s signature means that police will be barred from asking people about their immigration status...

California is home to an estimated 2.3 million immigrations without legal authorization.

“These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families... bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day,” Brown said in statement.

The Trump administration said the bill will make California more dangerous.

The state “has now codified a commitment to returning criminal aliens back onto our streets, which undermines public safety, national security, and law enforcement,” Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said in a statement.

The measure came in response to widespread fear in immigrant communities following Trump’s election...

Democrats hope blocking police from cooperating will limit the reach of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers...

De Leon’s bill cleared the Legislature with support only from Democrats. Republicans said it will protect criminals and make it harder for law enforcement to keep people safe.

The bill, SB54, originally would have severely restricted the authority of police officers to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. At Brown’s insistence, it was scaled back to allow cooperation in jails.

Police and sheriff’s officials, including jail officers, will still be able to work with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one of about 800 crimes, mostly felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged as felonies. But they will be barred from transferring immigrants to federal authorities if their rap sheet includes only minor offenses.

The changes convinced the California police chiefs association to drop its opposition, while sheriffs — elected officials who run jails — remained opposed. ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan has condemned the measure, saying California is prioritizing politics over public safety....

The measure was dubbed a “sanctuary state” bill because it sought to expand so-called sanctuary city policies that have long been in place in some of California’s biggest cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Brown and de Leon have said the bill does not give safe harbor to immigrants, particularly after the concessions Brown demanded.

 

ICE arrests 33 in Portland during operation targeting sanctuary cities

Federal immigration agents arrested 33 people in Portland during a four-day operation targeting sanctuary cities across the nation this week, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials said in a statement Thursday.

Nearly 500 people were arrested for federal immigration violations during the operation...

Agents focused their attention on cities and regions where local law enforcement don't honor immigration detainers...

The operation targeted people with prior criminal convictions, pending criminal charges and gang ties and those who re-entered the country after they were deported...

ICE acting director Tom Homan said in a statement that agents targeted sanctuary cities because "non-cooperation policies" undermine public safety.

"Sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor detainers or allow us access to jails and prisons are shielding criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and creating a magnet for illegal immigration," he said. "As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities."

Multnomah County's policies against sharing information with immigration authorities were criticized in July after a man who had been deported 12 times allegedly attacked two women....

Here's a breakdown of people arrested in each region:

-Baltimore: 28

- Cook County, Illinois: 30

- Denver: 63

- Los Angeles: 101

- New York: 45

- Philadelphia: 107

- Portland: 33

- Santa Clara County, California: 27

- Washington, D.C.: 14

- Massachusetts: 50

Some of the people arrested will be federally prosecuted for alleged illegal entry and re-entry after removal, ICE officials said. Others will administratively processed for deportation.

Attny.Gen. Jeff Sessions visits Portland, calls for proper cooperation in enforcing immigration law

 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions came to Portland on Tuesday, September 19, to speak to state and local law enforcement about the importance of better cooperation between state and federal authorities in controlling immigration.
 
Here are excerpts from Sessions’ remarks
 
The fundamental duty of this government is to protect the safety and the rights of its citizens. President Trump is a law and order President. …
 
A key concern is that some jurisdictions have undertaken to undo our immigration laws through so-called “sanctuary policies.”
 
Such policies undermine the moral authority of law and undermine the safety of the jurisdictions that adopt them.
 
In Portland and all over Oregon, here’s how it works right now: once the police arrest an illegal alien and charge him with a crime, they fingerprint him and book him into their jail.
 
When federal immigration authorities learn that this criminal alien is in a jurisdiction’s custody, our ICE officers issue a detainer request accompanied by a civil arrest warrant and ask the city to either notify them before they release the criminal or to hold the criminal alien long enough to transfer him to federal custody in a safe setting.
 
But political leaders have directed state and local officers to refuse these requests. Cooperation has been a key element in informed crime fighting for decades.
 
The result is that police are forced to release the criminal alien back into the community without regard to the seriousness of his crimes or the length of his rap sheet. Think about that: Police may be forced to release pedophiles, rapists, murderers, drug dealers, and arsonists back into the communities where they had no right to be in the first place. They should according to law and common sense be processed and deported.
 
These policies hinder the work of federal law enforcement; they’re contrary to the rule of law, and they have serious consequences for the law-abiding residents of Oregon. …
 
These policies do far greater damage than many understand. At its root, they are a rejection of our immigration laws and a declaration of open borders.
 
These lawless policies do more than shield individual criminal illegal aliens – they also shelter lethal gangs like the Latin Kings and MS-13.
 
These predators thrive when crime is not met with consequences. This state of lawlessness allows gangs to smuggle guns, drugs, and even humans across borders and around cities and communities.
 
That makes a sanctuary city a trafficker, smuggler, or gang member’s best friend. …
 
They will say that forcing police officers to release criminal aliens back onto the streets will somehow increase community trust. But that does not make sense to me. Would releasing someone who had been arrested 10 times this year into your community give you more confidence in law enforcement?
 
Would learning that your local district attorney actually charges illegal aliens with less serious crimes to evade federal deportation make you believe they are trying to make your neighborhood safer? Would forcing federal officers to track down criminal aliens on your street instead of safely in the jails make you believe we value your community? …
 
The problem is the policies that tie your hands. Sanctuary policies endanger us all, and especially the federal immigration officers who are forced to pursue criminal aliens outside of jails and prisons.
 
Yet, rather than reconsider their policies, these sanctuary jurisdictions feign outrage when they lose federal funds as a direct result of actions designed to nullify plain federal law. Some, including Portland, have even decided to sue this administration so that they can keep receiving taxpayer-funded grants while continuing to impede federal immigration enforcement.
 
These grants are not an entitlement. We strive to help state and local law enforcement.
 
But we cannot continue giving such federal grants to cities that actively undermine the safety of federal law officers and actively frustrate efforts to reduce crime in their own cities.
 
Our duty is to protect public safety and protect taxpayer dollars and I plan to fulfill that duty. …
 
The American people rightly want a lawful immigration system that keeps us safe and serves the national interest. … 
---------------------------------------
The Oregonian has a detailed report on Sessions’ visit to Portland.
 

Jeff Sessions to Oregon: State’s ‘sanctuary’ policies ‘endanger us all’

PORTLAND — In a speech to federal law enforcement officers, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday urged Oregon politicians to reconsider the state’s “sanctuary” law.

Sessions pointed to a slew of high-profile crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants in Oregon and nationwide as he tried to make the case that the 1987 state law makes Oregonians less safe.

“The problem is that the (sanctuary) policies tie your hands,” he told the law enforcement officials and other federal workers. “Sanctuary policies endanger us all.”

Sessions’ 20-minute address at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in north Portland, in a room normally used for immigrant naturalization ceremonies, contained few surprises.

The Trump administration all year has been pressuring sanctuary cities and states to enforce federal immigration laws or lose federal funding.

Oregon’s leaders have staunchly resisted those efforts, however, though an effort is underway to ask voters to repeal the sanctuary law next November.

Oregon’s law limits communications and information sharing between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials, allegedly making it tougher for federal authorities to apprehend Oregon residents for immigration law violations.

But the state law gives local police some wiggle room. Lane County, for example, provides more information to federal officials about foreign-born jail inmates than Multnomah County provides about its jail population.

The federal government has said it typically wants local police to detain unauthorized immigrants until federal officials can arrive to take them into custody. Oregon law doesn’t allow that level of cooperation.

A crowd of protesters arrived several hours before Sessions. They held signs and led derogatory chants about the attorney general in a corralled area a fair distance away from the immigration office building. Their raucous chants could be heard, faintly, during the attorney general’s address.

Democrats also pushed back on Sessions’ message.

In a public letter, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler accused the Trump Administration of trying to “coerce local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws.”

“In Portland, we do not merely tolerate diversity, we celebrate it,” he wrote.

Sessions suffered a defeat last week when a federal judge in Illinois temporarily blocked his efforts to withhold federal money for police from sanctuary cities.

The judge agreed with the city of Chicago’s argument that the attorney general doesn’t have the authority to add new conditions for local government to receive grants.

Sessions didn’t mention that ruling on Tuesday, but he did try to refute a common argument in favor of sanctuary policies: that they allow unauthorized immigrants to report crimes to local police without fear of local police then alerting federal immigration authorities who would deport those immigrants.

“That does not make sense to me,” Sessions said Tuesday. “Would releasing someone who had been arrested 10 times this year into your community give you more confidence in law enforcement?” Critics of sanctuary laws say the laws allow repeat offenders of local or state laws to remain at liberty in the United States, even though those people could be deported because of their illegal immigration status.

Sessions referred to an Oregon case involving Sergio Martinez, an unauthorized immigrant who had been deported 20 times. Martinez allegedly committed several crimes after the Multnomah County jail released him late last year.

Federal officials, including acting U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams, are upset that Multnomah County didn’t honor a federal “detainer” request to keep Martinez in jail until federal officials could pick him up.

But sheriffs in Oregon say the state’s 1987 sanctuary law and court rulings prevent them from complying with federal detainer requests or providing any form of assistance or support to federal immigration enforcement officials.

“Political leaders have directed state and local officers to refuse these (detainer) requests,” Sessions said. “Cooperation has been a key element in informed crime fighting for decades.”

Similar conflicts between local and federal law enforcement agencies are playing out across the nation.

However, Oregon sheriffs have some leeway in how they choose to interpret and implement the state’s sanctuary law.

In Lane County, jail booking information for everyone, including foreign-born inmates, is entered into a state database that federal immigration officials can access.

If requested, the county will call federal authorities to give them 30 minutes notice before an inmate they’ve asked to track is released from jail, according to Carrie Carver, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

That is somewhat similar to a crime victim notification system that exists, under which the general public can sign up to monitor specific inmates.

Lane County also allows federal ICE officers into the jail’s “pre-booking” area to potentially pick inmates up. The general public cannot access those areas.

Conversely, Multnomah County earlier this year clarified that their policy allows deputies to provide no more information and no more access to county facilities than what the county provides to the general public.

OFIR meeting Saturday, Sept. 30 - don't miss this one!

Alert date: 
September 20, 2017
Alert body: 

You won't want to miss this meeting!  OFIR has invited two NW United States Regional immigration officers to join us.

Not long ago Governor Brown sent out a very misleading Press Release filled with misinformation about Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions in our state.

So, just exactly what can agents do - and not do, while enforcing immigration laws in Oregon?

Melissa Nitsch, the Community Relations Officer for ICE covering Washington, Oregon, and Alaska and Quinn Andrus, Community Relations Officer for U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services will join us ...prepared to separate the real facts from the fear fanning fiction about ICE operating in Oregon.

This is a must attend event.  Invite a friend to join you Saturday, Sept. 30 from 2 – 4pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn, across from Costco in Salem

If you have questions, please call 503.435.0141

 1 person, standing


 

Fight Over Oregon's 'Sanctuary Law' Brings Immigration Policy Battle To The NW

At a booth at the recent state fair in Salem, people waited in line at a booth for Oregonians for Immigration Reform to sign the group’s proposed ballot measure to repeal Oregon’s so-called “sanctuary law.”

Cynthia Kendoll, the group’s president, said this new measure is attracting more intense interest than its previous attempts to discourage illegal immigration.

“This is something that people are truly really concerned about,” said Kendoll, “and I have just been amazed here at the state fair that people walk up and say, ‘Just let me sign this. I am so sick of this.’”

Oregon may not seem like it is on the front lines of the battle over immigration policy. But the state appears headed toward a bitter election fight on the issue that could reverberate nationally. 

During his presidential campaign last year, Donald Trump put a harsh spotlight on jurisdictions that didn’t fully cooperate with federal immigration officials. In recent weeks, he’s wavered on some immigration issues — such as moving to cut a deal with Democrats on protecting immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. But his administration continues to attack so-called sanctuary laws.

Andrea Williams, one of the chief opponents of the measure, said the looming ballot fight sets up a choice for voters between going with the Trump administration or sticking with law she says reflects “Oregon values” and has long worked well.

“To me, the issue is very simple,” added Williams, executive director of Causa, a Salem-based immigrant rights group.  “Do we want to spend Oregon resources to do the federal government’s job?”

Oregon 30 years ago adopted a law limiting local and state police involvement with federal enforcement. It was the first statewide law of its kind, but it attracted little attention or controversy. Supporters said the law was needed because some local police officers were detaining Latinos simply based on their appearance.

The term sanctuary came into vogue much later as many cities began resisting large-scale deportations. Critics charged that sanctuary cities were shielding criminals and Trump highlighted the issue in his campaign. 

“We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths,” Trump vowed. At the Republican convention last year, the relatives of people who had been killed by immigrants illegally in the country were prominently featured on stage.

Just a few weeks later, Oregonians for Immigration Reform began laying the groundwork for an initiative to abolish the state law.

Trump’s focus “gave us the backup that this is truly something that people are concerned about,” said Kendoll.

Opponents are gearing up to fight the measure and their feelings are also intense.

“Their ultimate goal is to get rid of immigrants because they want white nationalism in this state,” said state Rep. Diego Hernandez, D-Portland.  He argued that Oregon’s sanctuary law helps encourage cooperation with local police.

Causa is helping assemble a broad coalition to oppose the measure. Williams, the group’s executive director, has signed up a sort of who’s who of the major political backers of the Democratic political leadership of the state: the public employee unions, environmental groups as well as gay and abortion rights advocates.

She says her group got a wake-up call three years ago when Oregon voters rejected a new law providing driver’s licenses for people in the country illegally.

The idea was to give people a form of identification that would allow them to drive legally to work and get auto insurance. But Oregonians for Immigration Reform, charging that it only enabled illegal immigration, put the issue on the ballot and won in a landslide.

“We do have to get better at talking to Oregonians about the circumstances — why people here are undocumented and why they have limited solutions to adjust their status,” Williams said. If the sanctuary issue gets on the ballot, she said, her coalition will have to do a lot more to reach out to Oregonians to talk about the lives of immigrants and the economic benefits she said they bring to the state.

Surveys taken in Oregon and in the country as a whole generally show strong support for immigration reform that would provide some sort of path to legal status for people in the country without citizenship. But the sanctuary issue is different.

That became clear in staunchly Democratic California this year. After Trump was elected, the state Senate’s leader, Los Angeles Democrat Kevin de Léon, introduced a statewide sanctuary bill. But instead of winning swift passage and serving as a rebuke to Trump, it languished for months.

It faced strong opposition from many California law enforcement officials and one independent poll in March showed voters strongly divided on the issue. A watered-down version didn’t pass until the final hours of the legislative session on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

It’s still a long time until Oregon’s anti-sanctuary initiative could go before voters in November 2018. But there’s been plenty of early maneuvering around the issue.

Kendoll’s group was the first to take advantage of a new petitioning rule from Secretary of State Dennis Richardson that allows them to collect signatures while waiting for the ballot title to be finalized. Several groups are challenging Richardson’s rule. If they’re successful, it could put a major crimp in the petition drive.

Perhaps more crucially, critics of the measure are accusing Oregonians for Immigration Reform of having ties to white nationalism. They say the group has accepted aid from groups and individuals concerned about the changing racial composition of the country.

Kendoll denied that her group is motivated by racial animus.

We’re going after people who are here illegally,” she said. “Their race, their ethnicity, their religion — anything — has nothing to do with it. It’s, ‘are you in our country legally?’”

That leads Kendoll to some hard-line views. She said the estimated 11 million people who entered the country illegally should leave, and she supports ending the program allowing those brought here as children to gain legal status. In addition, she backs legislation that would cut legal immigration by half over the next decade.

“When you allow such a large number of people to immigrate legally,” she said, “assimilation is more difficult because they tend to clump together and not assimilate.”

The sanctuary issue provides a hot-button path toward that goal.

At the Oregonians for Immigration Reform booth, volunteers displayed the mugshot of Sergio Martinez and called him their “poster boy.”

He’s the man accused of sexually assaulting a 65-year-old woman after being released from the Multnomah County Jail despite being frequently deported. Focusing on this one extreme example infuriates opponents.

“They play off peoples’ fears. That’s how they win,” said Causa’s Williams. She said this line of attack unfairly stereotypes people who enter the country illegally, especially since research shows they are actually less likely to commit crimes. 

If Oregon’s 30-year-old sanctuary law is repealed, the result would likely be a patchwork of local policies. Counties and cities would be able to decide on their own how or if they wanted to limit their involvement with federal immigration enforcement.

The initiative needs 88,184 signatures by next July to qualify for the ballot. Kendoll isn’t saying how many signatures they’ve collected so far.

Jeff Sessions can't withhold grant money from sanctuary cities, judge rules

A federal judge in Chicago has ruled Attorney General Jeff Sessions can't withhold public grant money from so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to follow federal immigration policies.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber made the ruling Friday, in which he granted Chicago's request for a temporary "nationwide" injunction.

The ruling means the Justice Department cannot deny grant money requests until Chicago's lawsuit against the agency is concluded. Leinenweber wrote that Chicago has shown a "likelihood of success" in its arguments that Sessions overstepped his authority with the requirement.

The city of Chicago sued the Trump administration in August after it threatened to withhold funds from sanctuary cities, and refused to comply with the Justice Department's demand that it allow immigration agents access to local jails and notify agents when someone in the U.S. is about to be released from custody.

SANCTUARY CITIES: WHAT ARE THEY?

At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the state of California, have refused to cooperate with new federal rules regarding sanctuary cities.

The ruling is another blow to Sessions, a longtime champion of tougher immigration laws.

Earlier this month, Sessions announced that the administration would end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed their visas.

President Trump later announced he was working on an agreement to protect them.

It's unclear whether the ruling means the Leinenweber will ultimately decide in favor of the city.

Oregon Expands Dangerous Sanctuary Law

While California is the most well-known sanctuary state, Oregon was actually the first one in the country. (The Daily Caller, Aug. 8, 2017) It passed its sanctuary law over 30 years ago. (Id.) Now that Governor Kate Brown has signed HB 3464, Oregon gets a new distinction, now being the most extreme sanctuary state. (Id.) Oregon’s new law makes it nearly impossible for state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials and allows criminal aliens, even those convicted of the most serious crimes, to escape immigration enforcement. (H.B. 3464)

Specifically, the law prohibits state and local agencies in Oregon from sharing information about individuals including their contact information, time and location of their public appointments, the identity of relatives, and their place of employment. (Id.) The law also prohibits these institutions from requesting information about a person's immigration or citizenship status. (Id.) If they already have that information, they “may decline to disclose” the status to federal authorities unless required by law or court order, according to the new law. (Id.)

Outrageously, Governor Brown signed the sanctuary law a mere two weeks after criminal alien Sergio Jose Martinez was accused of raping a 65 year-old woman in her home and sexually assaulting another woman in a parking garage. (The Washington Times, Aug. 16, 2017) Martinez had previously been deported 20 times and had a long history of criminal activity, including burglary and battery, spanning several states. (The Oregonian, Aug. 3, 2017) In December 2016, Martinez was in a Multnomah County jail when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a detainer on him. (Id.) Despite the detainer request, Multnomah County released him from jail without contacting ICE. (Id.) Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese said that he could not detain Martinez because of Oregon’s sanctuary law. (See KGW.com, Aug. 1, 2017) In June, Martinez was arrested again in Multnomah County. (Id.) He was released on July 17, after serving 31 days in jail. (Id.) One week later, Martinez was arrested for those violent sexual attacks on the two women. (Id.)


 

Walden votes against blocking funds to sanctuary cities

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., joined a small group of congressional Republicans who voted last week against blocking some federal funds from states and cities that don't cooperate with immigration enforcement agents.

Oregon is a so-called sanctuary state by law, and governments of several Oregon cities, including Portland's, have symbolically designated themselves as sanctuary cities. In practice, Oregon's immigration enforcement statute bars state and local law enforcement from cooperating with immigration agents if a detainee's only apparent offense is being in the country illegally.

Walden has generally voted in favor of conservative immigration policies. The congressman "leans toward less immigration, less population growth, less foreign labor," according to his voting scorecard at NumbersUSA, a group that lobbies for less immigration.

He voted to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2006. He's co-sponsored legislation several times that would deny automatic citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.

Following the Trump administration's decision last week to end DACA, which grants deportation reprieves to children of illegal immigrants, Walden expressed sympathy for young adults who may face deportation. He said Congress should find a "permanent solution" to fix the nation's immigration system.

Walden was one of eight Republicans to vote against the funds-blocking amendment Wednesday, which was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo. It passed, 225-195.

In a speech from the House floor, Smith described his amendment as "very straightforward" and ensures that funds "only go to cities and states that uphold federal law."

All of Oregon's congressional Democrats -- Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader -- voted against the amendment. Washington Republicans Jaime Herrera Beutler, Kathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse voted for the amendment but Dave Reichert joined that state's Democrats in voting against it.

The bill containing the amendment funds the U.S. Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service and other agencies. The full bill has yet to pass the House.

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