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Should illegal aliens be a "protected" class of people? The Governor seems to think so.

Alert date: 
June 4, 2017
Alert body: 

PRESS RELEASE

OREGON HOUSE DEMOCRATS

For Immediate Release For More Information, Contact:

May 31, 2017 Scott Moore: 503-986-1904

Legislators, Gov. Brown, and AG Rosenblum File Bill to Protect Privacy of Oregonians

   HB 3464 limits information collection and increases privacy

in response to federal anti-immigration actions

SALEM—Responding to increasing concerns about aggressive federal anti-immigration actions, Reps. Teresa Alonso Leon (D-Woodburn) and Diego Hernandez (D-Portland) have filed a bill to strengthen privacy protections for vulnerable populations. HB 3464 was filed on behalf of Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

“Our immigrant communities are living in fear,” says Rep. Alonso Leon. “I have heard from children who are afraid to go to school in the morning, because they aren’t sure if their parents will be home at the end of the day. I won’t stand for these inhumane immigration enforcement tactics that are tearing families apart—this bill is our chance to protect these communities.”

The increase of ICE raids and deportations in Oregon has created an environment of fear in communities throughout the state. Families all over Oregon have been torn apart, children left without fathers, mothers, and grandparents. People are even afraid to go to local shops, hurting small businesses.

“Now more than ever, we must stand together as Oregonians to guard against prejudice and discrimination,” Governor Brown said. “Oregon relies on a diverse workforce to support a growing economy, and we must ensure the civil rights of all Oregonians are protected and that the rule of law is respected.”

HB 3464 serves to strengthen—in line with state and federal laws—our state’s protections by changing the ways that public bodies are authorized to collect and share data with the federal government. It also requires the Attorney General to provide guidance to all public bodies as to how to interact with immigration enforcement activities, and encourages all public bodies to implement the guidance and or update their confidentiality policies.

“We have heard from school administrators, county judges, and other public bodies that they want and need guidance from the state on how to respond if ICE comes asking for information,” says Rep. Hernandez. “HB 3464 provides clarity and consistency for our public bodies, so a school principal knows how they can protect the private information of students and their families. Allies and community members are looking to the legislature to protect our immigrant neighbors from federal overreach.”

HB 3464:

  • Encourages all public bodies to adopt policies, for consistency and clarity statewide, on the collection of information and how to process requests of information by the federal government.

  • Provides guidance from the Attorney General to public bodies on these policies and complying with federal and state law.

“There is a lot of fear right now in our immigrant communities stemming from increasingly aggressive tactics by federal enforcement agencies. This impacts the entire community—families and businesses, schools, hospitals, courthouses, and other public facilities, as everyone struggles to understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. This bill is a way to help make sure our communities have clear guidance so they are in compliance with state and federal law. It is imperative that we take this important step to protect the rights of all Oregonians,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

HB 3464 is expected to be referred to the House Rules Committee and should be scheduled for a public hearing shortly.

 

[To see this news release in pdf version as originally distributed, click here.] 

House bill would increase protections for immigrants

A new bill in the Oregon House would prohibit schools, courts and other public bodies from disclosing personal information such as an address or workplace for the purposes of federal immigration enforcement, except when required by law.

The bill, requested by Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and introduced Thursday by Reps. Teresa Alonso Leon, D-Woodburn, and Diego Hernandez, D-Portland, aims to increase privacy and reduce fear in immigrant communities...

Other information the bill would prohibit public bodies from sharing include the time and location of a person's public appointments, the identity of relatives, and telephone numbers. The bill would also prohibit these institutions from requesting information about a person's immigration or citizenship status. 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 bill.

Under the bill, public bodies in the state would also receive guidance from the attorney general on interacting with Immigration and Custom Enforcement authorities....

Oregon has been a sanctuary state for several decades, meaning the use of state and local resources to enforce federal immigration law, if a person hasn't committed a crime other than being in the country illegally, is prohibited under state law...

"So many people in the community are afraid," said Romeo Sosa, executive director at Voz Workers' Rights Education Project, a Portland-based organization that has advocated for immigration reform. "This would make it easier for immigrants to go about work or college or school, without being afraid."

Sanctuary status has been debated in Tigard, Eugene, and other Oregon cities in recent months, and continues to be a contentious issue.

On the House bill, James Buchal, chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party, said, "I don't think there's such a great public interest in concealing people's immigration status." He added, "The more layers of operational restrictions that are placed on public agencies, the more their functions get caught up in bureaucracy."

Oregon Lawmakers Aim to Increase Protections of Immigrants

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Public bodies in Oregon would be prohibited from disclosing a person's immigration status and details like addresses, except when required by law, under a bill filed Wednesday in the Legislature.

Teresa Alonso Leon, a Democrat from Woodburn, and Diego Hernandez, a Democrat from Portland filed the bill in the House as immigration enforcement increases under President Donald Trump...

....The bill said that, "except as required by state or federal law," a public body may not disclose for the purpose of immigration enforcement, a person's address, workplace or work schedule, school and contact information.

A public body would also be prohibited from inquiring about a person's citizenship or immigration status except when determining benefit eligibility or as required by state or federal law.

Oregon state law and federal laws, however, clash when it comes to immigration.

*Oregon created America's first sanctuary state in 1987 with a law that prevents law enforcement from detaining people who are in the United States illegally but have not broken other laws. In February, Brown signed an executive order that said all state agencies must follow the 1987 statute.

A Republican lawmaker who advocates enforcement of America's immigration laws said the state should comply with federal law.

"If you read federal law, it says not only is it illegal to be in the country without authorization and if you're caught you have to go back, but it is also illegal to harbor someone," Rep. Sal Esquivel, from the southwestern Oregon town of Medford, said in a phone interview....

Esquivel said Brown is "protecting people of illegal status in the state, which is against the law. This is a country of laws and if we don't adhere to the laws we won't have a country left."

Brown said Wednesday that  *"Oregon relies on a diverse workforce to support a growing economy, and we must ensure the civil rights of all Oregonians are protected and that the rule of law is respected."...

He said school administrators, county judges, and other public bodies are seeking guidance from the state on how to respond if ICE asks for information....

"This bill is a way to help make sure our communities have clear guidance so they are in compliance with state and federal law," Rosenblum said...

*Emphasis added

CA Sheriff Hits Back at "Sanctuary State" Rhetoric by Showing Just Who Would be Protected

Much attention has been given to the antics of crazy California politicians like Kamala Harris, Kevin de Leon, and Nancy Pelosi, who all advocate for sanctuary city/state policies and call anyone opposed to their view racist or "white supremacist" - and can somehow say with a straight face that this policy doesn't put Americans at risk.

But, there are elected officials and law enforcement officers in the state who strongly oppose these policies and, in particular, Senate Bill 54, which would prohibit law enforcement agencies in the state from using "agency or department moneys, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes."

Law enforcement associations have made their concerns known, but since SB 54 has passed the Senate, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department is taking their concerns straight to the public, posting a "rap sheet" of some of the actual Ventura County inmates recently detained by ICE. 

As a follow-up to our concerns over Senate Bill 54, we would like to provide more factual information regarding the types of individuals that would be released into our community if immigration authorities are not allowed in our jail as would be mandated by this bill. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has continued to review inmates in the jail who might have possibly been in the country illegally.

The report stated that ICE had detained 50 inmates in the last 30 days, but the county averages 1,373 ICE detainers a year. All but one of the 50 had either a prior arrest history, current felony charges, or prior deportation orders (yet found themselves in jail again). The Sheriff's Department then posted a sample of the charges of those detained by ICE:

  • Inmate 1 Current Arrest – felony domestic violence; Prior Arrests – drunk driving; stealing a vehicle; hit and run; drunk in public; under the influence of a controlled substance; possession of drugs; possession of drug paraphernalia 
  • Inmate 2 Current Arrest – felony domestic violence; dissuading a victim from testifying; obstructing the use of a communication devices to prevent summoning assistance; Prior Arrests – felony domestic violence (twice); assault with a deadly weapon; child endangerment; illegal entry; previously deported 
  • Inmate 3 Current Arrest – felony domestic violence; false imprisonment; resisting arrest; kidnapping; Prior Arrests – sexual battery; burglary; robbery; false information to a peace officer; brandishing a weapon; false imprisonment; kidnapping; stealing a vehicle; illegal entry; previously deported 
  • Inmate 4 Current Arrest – possession of a controlled substance for sale; transportation of a controlled substance (twice); driving on a suspended license; Prior Arrests – battery (twice); drunk in public; vandalism; transportation, sales, or distribution of a dangerous drug; transportation of a controlled substance; drunk driving (twice)
  • Inmate 5 Current Arrest – felony drunk driving; driving without an ignition interlock device; driving on a suspended license; Prior Arrests – lewd acts with a child under 14; driving on a suspended drivers’ license (five times); drunk driving (twice); unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor 
  • Inmate 6 Current Arrest – assault with a deadly weapon; attempted kidnapping; Prior Arrests – possession of drugs (twice); possession of drug paraphernalia (three times); prowling; theft (twice); false information to a peace officer (twice); drunk in public; robbery (three times); felony domestic violence; assault with a deadly weapon (three times); kidnapping (twice) 
  • Inmate 7 Current Arrest – domestic violence; Prior Arrests – felony criminal threats (twice); domestic violence (twice); child endangerment; driving without a license; driving with a suspended license; possession of drugs; theft (twice); possession of stolen property; false information to a peace officer; stealing a vehicle; illegal entry
  • Inmate 8 Current Arrest – kidnapping; false imprisonment; lewd acts with a child under 14; Prior Arrests – resisting arrest; under the influence of drugs (twice); kidnapping; lewd acts with a child under 14, drunk in public 
  • Inmate 9 Current Arrest – warrant for resisting arrest, false information to a peace officer, domestic violence, violation of a domestic violence court order; Prior Arrests – brandishing a weapon; felony domestic violence; felony criminal threats; drunk in public (twice); violation of a domestic violence court order (three times); vandalism; domestic violence (twice); resisting arrest (twice); false information to a peace officer 
  • Inmate 10 Current Arrest – felony domestic violence; Prior Arrests – felony domestic violence; previously deported
  • Inmate 11 Current Arrest – possession of a short barreled shotgun; Prior Arrests – assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a short barreled shotgun (twice), assault, carrying a concealed firearm, illegal entry 
  • Inmate 12 Current Arrest – under the influence of drugs; Prior Arrests – felony domestic violence, burglary, inflicting injury to a child, under the influence of drugs, resisting arrest, unlicensed driver, drunk driving, possession of drug paraphernalia, false information to a peace officer 
  • Inmate 13 Current Arrest – possession of drugs for sale; Prior Arrests – possession of drugs for sale (twice); previously deported 
  • Inmate 14 Current Arrest – under the influence of drugs; Prior Arrest – member of a street gang, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, possession of drugs, drunk driving, trespassing 
  • Inmate 15 Current Arrest – felony domestic violence; Prior Arrests – felony domestic violence; child endangerment; false imprisonment; domestic battery; drunk driving; hit and run

Members of gangs, drug dealers, sex offenders, pedophiles, assault with a deadly weapon, repeat drunk drivers, repeat domestic violence, violating court orders - yeah, these are not harmless people just looking for a way to have a better life. Good for you, Sheriff, on giving the people you're sworn to protect the facts.

Let's Start Debunking Immigration Myths

There are common sense, fact-based ways to fix immigration in U.S.

Taxpayers are subsidizing big business and a desire for cheap labor at a massive cost to society.

HOLDEN — Our media is inundated with political narrative, misinformation and myths on immigration. A few examples:

 Reducing immigration is “anti-immigrant” and “right-wing.”

 Only Trumpites oppose sanctuary cities.

Last October, the Obama Justice Department announced that cities would receive federal law enforcement grants only if they fully complied with federal immigration reporting laws. The current administration is continuing this policy. In addition, 80 percent of Americans oppose sanctuary policies, and even in hyper-blue California, a majority felt that cities should not be allowed to refuse to cooperate with federal authorities.

 Immigrants pay taxes.

The National Academy of Sciences was clear: Immigrants are currently a huge fiscal drain. In 2013, the fiscal deficit – taxes paid minus services used – was $279 billion. But why? They work hard. Their wages are low because most are unskilled. Bottom line: Taxpayers are subsidizing cheap labor for the employers.

• If illegal immigrants left, our produce would rot in the fields.

Alabama’s agricultural output rose in the three years after passage of its “draconian” immigration law. In addition, the H2A visa program, which allows farmers to employ foreign guest workers, has no caps. There’s no excuse for any illegal workers picking our produce.

• We need immigrants to “do the jobs Americans won’t do.”

Nobel economist Paul Krugman: “The willingness of Americans to do a job depends on how much that job pays – and the reason some jobs pay too little to attract native-born Americans is competition from poorly paid immigrants.” When garlic famers couldn’t find enough workers, they recently increased wages by $2 an hour, and were flooded with applicants. Surprise! Americans picking produce!

• If we pay more, food prices will skyrocket.

Philip Martin, of the Commission on Agricultural Workers, reports that raising farmworkers’ wages by 40 percent would increase a family’s annual food budget by only $16. By hiring legal workers and paying a livable wage, we save taxpayers the cost of poverty programs, and government gets more taxes.

• We need high-skilled foreign science, technology, engineering and math workers.

The Wall Street Journal: “America’s dazzling tech boom has a downside: Not enough jobs.” And The New York Times: Corporations, claiming dire shortages, are displacing Americans with foreign workers. “STEM shortages”?

• We’re caught between “mass deportations” and “mass amnesty.”

We have other choices. Passing mandatory E-verify for all new hires would immediately end the jobs magnet. Over five years, we could phase in E-verify for all workers. A five-year transition period would allow employers now dependent on an illegal workforce to rethink their business plan, and it would allow illegal immigrants time to make other arrangements.

 Families could be divided!

It’s not our responsibility to provide amnesty and citizenship to people who’ve committed Social Security card fraud and identity theft and lied on federal documents in order to “make a better life.” If native-born Americans commit these crimes, they face jail time.

• What about “Dreamers,” brought here as children? They’re innocent.

Legalization without citizenship for a limited number of highly deserving Dreamers makes sense. But their plight shouldn’t become a Trojan horse for another mass amnesty.

• We need more young people!

Since immigrants sponsor their elderly parents, too, immigration has no discernible effect on generational demographics, according to the pro-restriction Center for Immigration Studies.

• President Barack Obama deported millions. Illegal immigration is simply unstoppable.

The Los Angeles Times: The Obama administration changed the definition of “deportation.” Citing that fact, Obama himself called his deportation statistics “a little deceptive.” Using the old definition, deportations declined by 40 percent under Obama.

How can we stop illegal immigration? It’s obvious: Go after the employers. Decisive enforcement. No more “catch and release.” Immigration policy will affect nearly every aspect of our society for generations. Let’s try applying a fact-based discussion to this complex problem.

Jonette Christian of Holden is a member of Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy. She can be contacted at jonettechristian@ rocketmail.com.

Lewis & Clark students, faculty push back against controversial speaker as protest continues

When student organizers invited Jessica Vaughan to speak at Lewis & Clark College's International Affairs Symposium, they knew there would be pushback.

The policy director for the right-wing Center for Immigration Studies, recently designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, repeatedly told the audience gathered inside the Agnes Flanagan Chapel that she's not against refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.

"Then how can you explain your Twitter feed?" a professor asked during the Q&A section of the panel discussion Vaughan shared with Galya Ruffer, founding director of The Center of Forced Migration Studies at Northwestern University.

Ads by ZINC
 

"I choose certain cases to share," Vaughan explained...

(She does, it should be noted, also share stories from outlets such as CBS News and The Daily Beast that may be seen as detrimental to the White House's arguments for its stance on immigration and refugee issues.)

The discussion was at times difficult to hear as a protest, organized by Portland's Resistance...20 demonstrators chanted, at times employing the siren feature of a bullhorn...

The protest was organized on Monday after history professor Elliott Young...

Catherine Kodat, dean of Lewis & Clark's College of Arts and Sciences, said student organizers began preparing for the possibility of a protest after the post began to spread...

On at least two occasions, a pair of doors near the stage shook as someone outside pounded on them. A shout of "Nazi scum" could be heard between the sound of boots on wood...

Vaughan's critics Tuesday evening contended that those "certain cases" paint immigrants and refugees in broad strokes, stoking racism against both groups.

"I don't think immigration has anything to do with crime. At all," she said.

The back-and-forth on crime among refugee and immigrant populations was a departure from the debate...

The discussion, moderated by associate professor Heather Smith-Cannoy, was supposed to center around the question of whether countries were obligated to offer refugees asylum within their borders or help them re-settle within their country of origin.

At the outset of the debate, Ruffer thanked the student organizers for their decision to not create a "safe space" but rather promote conversation.

Yet all but three questions from debate attendees were directed at Vaughan, criticizing her previously published works.

Smith-Cannoy may have drawn the loudest applause of the evening when she challenged Vaughan's previous assertions that the Obama Administration released 36,000 undocumented immigrants from detention in 2013 and that 72 individuals from countries listed in President Trump's original executive order had been linked to terrorist activity.

(Both claims had been debunked by The Washington Post and other fact-checking agencies.)

Vaughan pushed back, telling the crowd that her research was open-sourced.

And so it went, until professor Bob Mandel approached the stage to signal the end of the discussion....

Gregory McKelvey, leader of Portland's Resistance, was among those standing outside...

"The people here are intelligent people," McKelvey said. "It doesn't take much for them to argue effectively against people who use made-up facts to make their points."

OFIR hosts Jessica Vaughn at Saturday's membership meeting

A packed house greeted CIS's Director of Policy Studies, Jessica Vaughn - OFIR's special guest speaker at the April 8th membership meeting.  Ms. Vaughn, an engaging speaker, covered alot of ground as she explained ICE holds, Oregon's Clackamas County lawsuit, President Trump's accomplishments to date and much, much more.  There was even time for folks to ask questions.

The newspaper notified us that protesters were planning to attend our event, but rainy, windy weather seemed to dampen their spirits.  Only a couple dozen protesters showed up and then left after about an hour.  They were advised to stop, after placing several derogatory flyers on cars parked in the hotel parking lot - which is private property.

Other special guests were ORP Chairman Bill Currier and State Representative Mike Nearman (an OFIR Board member).

 


 

Border wall contractors brace for hostile environment

SAN DIEGO (AP) — One potential bidder on President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico wanted to know if authorities would rush to help if workers came under "hostile attack."...

A U.S. official with knowledge of the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details haven't been made public said four to 10 bidders are expected to be chosen to build prototypes.

They will be constructed on a roughly quarter-mile (400-meter) strip of federally owned land in San Diego ...

The process for bids and prototypes are preliminary steps for a project that will face deep resistance in Congress and beyond....

The Border Patrol and local police would establish a buffer zone around the construction site if necessary, the U.S. official said....

Enrique Morones, executive director of Border Angels, said his group plans to protest.

"There will be a lot of different activity — protests, prayer vigils — on both sides of the wall," said Morones, whose immigrant advocacy group is based in San Diego. "We pray and hope that they're peaceful."

Michael Evangelista-Ysasaga, chief executive of The Penna Group LLC, a general contractor in Fort Worth, Texas, said he has received about a dozen death threats since publicly expressing interest in bidding...

Evangelista-Ysasaga said he bid in part because he wants broad immigration reform. Securing the border, he said, is a prerequisite for granting a path to citizenship to millions in the U.S. illegally....

Building a wall on the Mexican border was a cornerstone of Trump's presidential campaign and a flashpoint for his detractors. The multibillion-dollar project along the 2,000-mile border has many outspoken critics, including the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico, which said last week that Mexican companies expressing interest were betraying their country.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that it would pick multiple contractors to build prototypes...

The winning bidders must submit a security plan with details including "'fall back positions, evacuation routines and methods, muster area, medical staff members/availability, number of security personnel, qualifications, years of experience, etc. in the event of a hostile attack," according to the solicitation. A chain-link fence with barbed wire around the construction site is required. The agency said it won't provide security.

Bidders are also asked to demonstrate experience "executing high-profile, high-visibility and politically contentious" projects.

The agency, responding to questions from companies on a website for government contractors, said the Border Patrol would respond as needed if there is a hostile attack, but companies were responsible for security. The government won't allow waivers from state gun laws or indemnify companies whose workers use deadly force.

The website for contractors lists more than 200 companies that signed up for email notifications on the design contract...

Ronald Colburn, Border Patrol deputy chief when hundreds of miles of fences were built under President George W. Bush's administration, said companies should plan on training workers to know when to seek cover and stay put and when to retreat.

"Most of those organizations are probably fairly accustomed to that," said Colburn, who retired in 2009. "Some of them may be learning for the first time, that kind of risk at the borders."

Guest Speaker Jessica Vaughn at OFIR meeting Saturday, April 8

Alert date: 
April 1, 2017
Alert body: 
SAVE THE DATE for OFIR's next General Membership meeting - Saturday, April 8 from 2 - 4 pm..
 
We are very fortunate to have as our special guest speaker, Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.  She specializes in issues related to immigration law enforcement.
 
Ms. Vaughn recently testified before the House immigration subcommittee on the state of immigration law enforcement and actions needed to restore the integrity of our immigration laws. Lack of enforcement has imposed enormous costs on American communities, including compromised national security, public safety threats, lost job opportunities, stagnant wages, and higher tax bills due to an increased demand for social services.  Read her full statement here.
 
Some of her recent reports are: ICE Deportations Hit 10-Year Low, Tackling Sanctuaries, Immigration 'Law and Order' Starts at State Department. Jessica is a frequent guest on many news programs, so you might already be familiar with her work.
 
See her biography here.
 
The OFIR meeting will be held at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn in Salem, 3125 Ryan Dr SE, just west of I-5 Exit 253, across from Costco.  
Time: 2 p.m., Saturday, April 8, 2017.
 
Driving directions to Best Western Mill Creek Inn: 
 
From I-5, take exit 253, which is the intersection of I-5 and State roads 22 and Business 99E. Go West on 22 (Mission St.) a short distance to Hawthorne Ave. (Costco will be on your right), Turn R on Hawthorne Ave. to the first left, which is Ryan Drive. Turn left on Ryan Drive, by Denny’s Restaurant, and proceed to Mill Creek Inn just beyond.
 
Everyone is welcome, there is no admission charge and there is plenty of free parking!

Undocumented immigrants living locally face fears of deportation

Residents living in the Eugene area said Wednesday that they are nervous after Tuesday’s announcement that federal immigration authorities will begin aggressively locating, arresting and deporting people who are in the country illegally, regardless of whether they’re otherwise law-abiding.

Rose Richeson, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement public affairs officer for the Pacific Northwest, said Wednesday that ICE agents no longer will make deportation exceptions for any “class or category of removable aliens.”

“All of those in violation of immigration law may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and — if found removable by final order — removed from the United States,” Richeson said.

A final order is a final judgement made by a judge.

The memorandum, Richeson said, makes it clear that ICE will prioritize the deportation of illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a crime. Richeson also said that, in compliance with the Tuesday memos, ICE would conduct “targeted enforcement operations and allocate resources to work in jurisdictions with violent crime tied to gang activities.”

Documents released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security outlined what policies and practices the Trump administration intends to implement in the coming months to combat illegal immigration.

The practices include enlisting local police officers to enforce immigration laws; establishing new detention facilities; publicizing crimes by undocumented immigrants; stripping such immigrants of privacy protections; discouraging asylum seekers; and immediately hiring at least 5,000 border patrol agents as well as 10,000 new ICE agents. The Trump administration has not announced how those new hires will be funded.

One of the memorandums directs the appropriate agencies to begin planning, designing, constructing and maintaining a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, complete with lighting, technology and sensors.

Despite Trump’s detailed implementation plans laid out Tuesday, local and state law enforcement officials said Wednesday that they had no intention of acting as ICE agents.

“The federal government has no authority to tell us to enforce immigration laws,” Oregon State Police Capt. Bill Fugate said. “In general, we can’t just enforce federal laws; we enforce state laws. We won’t be delegating our resources to enforcing immigration laws.”

Fugate pointed to a 2013 state law that prevents local and state law enforcement from using state money to locate people living in Oregon who are not U.S. citizens.

ORS 181.850 states: “No law enforcement agency of the State of Oregon or of any political subdivision of the state shall use agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.”

Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns echoed Fugate’s comments and cited the same law.

Earlier this month, Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order of her own designed to bolster protections in Oregon against deportation and discrimination of people who immigrated to the country without authorization.

Brown’s executive order bans state agencies from helping federal immigration officials find or arrest illegal immigrants. That would expand Ore­gon’s 1987 “sanctuary state” law, which already prevents any state or local law enforcement agency from doing so. The order also would explicitly prohibit state agencies from discriminating against illegal immigrants, unless existing state or federal law requires them to do so.

Brown’s executive order would apply to agencies such as the Department of Human Services, which administers Ore­gon’s safety net social service programs, as well as the Department of Education and the Department of Transportation.

Brown said at the time that she was concerned about news reports of plainclothes federal immigration officers making arrests and appearing to monitor people at the Multnomah County courthouse in Portland.

She acknowledged that she hasn’t heard of any state agency receiving requests from federal immigration officers for state assistance in implementing deportation efforts. Brown said her order primarily is a preventive measure.

“I want our agencies to understand that folks will not be targeted based on their immigration status,” she said.

Brown’s office did not return calls Wednesday seeking comment about stepped-up border security, immigration enforcement and deportations.

Deportations have taken place across the nation for years, including during the Obama administration, when 2.4 million people were deported from fiscal year 2009 to 2014, including a record 435,000 in 2013, according to DHS data.

The population of unauthorized immigrants living in Oregon is unclear. Census data indicate that about 130,000 undocumented residents lived in Oregon in 2014, according to the most recent Pew Research Center data.

Advocates of a new state law dubbed by supporters as “Cover All Kids,” which would extend government-funded health insurance in Ore­gon to many unauthorized immigrant children, estimate that about 17,900 unauthorized immigrants younger than age 19 live in the state.

But Lane County immigrant rights advocates and organizations said Wednesday that the Trump administration is using fear and intimidation tactics in its fight against illegal immigration.

David Sáez, executive director of Centro Latino Americano, said Wednesday that those tactics are working. Centro Latino Americano is a bilingual, multicultural agency that serves Latino families in Lane County.

Sáez said fear among some undocumented members of the community, as well as family members of those populations, grows with each new memorandum or executive order issued by the Trump administration or the president himself.

“There are people who are keeping their children home from school and who aren’t going to work because they’re scared,” Sáez said. “Being a safe community is critical. … We need to make sure our schools, our city, our county and our state are creating safe environments that allow people to go to work, to school, to get their groceries without feeling afraid.”

The new enforcement policies put into practice language that Trump used on the campaign trail, vastly expanding the definition of “criminal aliens” and warning that such unauthorized immigrants “routinely victimize Americans,” disregard the “rule of law and pose a threat” to people across the United States.

Despite those assertions in the new documents, research based on census data shows that there are lower levels of crime among immigrants than among native-born Americans.

Sáez alleges that much of the language presented in orders and memorandums from the Trump administration directly contradict the U.S. Constitution, which in a way can protect those who are prepared.

“How these documents were worded and how they square with the Constitution and the rights people have regardless of their status,” Sáez said. “A lot of what’s in those memos is contradictory to the law of the land, and I’m hopeful that we can challenge them.”

To prepare for the situation some Ore­gonians could face, Sáez said he and his colleagues at Centro Latino Americano have been holding workshops to provide guidance for immigrants in case ICE agents knock at their door.

“We’re helping families put together emergency preparedness kits so that if there’s a family member deported or detained, that there’s a plan of what will happen to kids and other family members,” he said.

Examples of those preparations included making extra car and house keys, gathering important documents and informing families of their rights.

Juan Carlos Valle, vice president and council treasurer of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Lane County, said Wednesday that LULAC also will be helping families prepare for what could happen.

“This is what’s left for us to do,” Valle said. “We need to inform our families of their rights and tell them not to get in trouble, because at this point they’ll (federal immigration agents) use any excuse to arrest them. We have to be the ones taking this step. They have to know we have their backs and we’ll speak up. This is my responsibility.”

Email Alisha at alisha.roemeling@register guard.com .


TIPS FOR THOSE WORRIED ABOUT DEPORTATION

Don’t open the door, but be calm. You have rights.

Ask what they are there for, and ask for an interpreter if you need one.

If they ask to enter, ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge; if so, ask to see it through a window or slipped under the door.

If they do not have a warrant signed by a judge, you may refuse to let them in. Ask them to leave any information at your door.

If they force their way in, don’t resist. Tell everyone in the residence to remain silent.

If you are arrested, remain silent and do not sign anything until you speak to a lawyer.

Follow driving laws and maintain a good criminal record. Younger generations should stay busy and in school, be respectful and avoid friends who might get in trouble.

— Source: Juan Carlos Valle of the League of United
Latin American Citizens in Lane County via the ACLU

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