Oregon

Southern Poverty Law Center fires co-founder Morris Dees

The Southern Poverty Law Center fired Morris Dees, the nonprofit civil rights organization's co-founder and former chief litigator.

SPLC President Richard Cohen said in a statement Dees' dismissal over his misconduct was effective on Wednesday, March 13....

"As a civil rights organization, the SPLC is committed to ensuring that the conduct of our staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world," Cohen said in the emailed statement. "When one of our own fails to meet those standards, no matter his or her role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take appropriate action."

Dees, 82, co-founded the Montgomery-based organization in 1971. 

"It was not my decision, what they did," Dees said when reached by phone. "I wish the center the absolute best. Whatever reasons they had of theirs, I don't know."...

Dees' termination is one of several steps taken by the organization this week, Cohen said. 

"Today we announced a number of immediate, concrete next steps we’re taking, including bringing in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure that our talented staff is working in the environment that they deserve — one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected," Cohen said. 

What the SPLC wants the "next steps" to address or correct remains unclear. An SPLC spokesperson said the organization was "in the process of hiring" the firm for the workplace climate assessment, and no other leadership changes had been announced. 

A message seeking further comment was left on Cohen’s cell phone Thursday afternoon.

"I’ve read the statement they issued," Dees said when asked if he knew why he was fired. "I feel like some of the things in the statement were unfortunate. But I refuse to say anything negative about the center or its employees. I’ll let my life’s work and reputation speak for itself."

When asked if he was offered the chance to resign or retire, the 82-year-old said, "I've told you all I can tell you."

Dees' biography appeared scrubbed from the SPLC's website as news broke of his termination on Thursday afternoon. 

Morris Dees, SPLC funding and civil rights cases

A Montgomery native, Dees attended Sidney Lanier High School. He burnished his marketing chops by managing a direct sale book publishing company while attending the University of Alabama, where he also earned a law degree. 

After returning home to establish a law practice in 1960, Dees won a series of civil rights cases before establishing the SPLC with lawyer Joseph J. Levin Jr. and civil rights activist Julian Bond a decade later.

Southern Poverty Law Center President Emeritus Julian Bond, left, and founder Morris Dees at the SPLC's 40th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday April 30, 2011 at the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Ala.(Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh) (Photo: Montgomery Advertiser)

The legal partnership netted significant civil rights triumphs. Dees challenged systemic discrimination and segregation in Alabama state trooper ranks in a case won in the U.S. Supreme Court. SPLC litigation challenging Alabama's legislative districts forced the state to redraw its districts in the early 1970s, leading to the election of more than a dozen black legislators in 1974.

Morris Dees is a co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery.

Early SPLC lawsuits also fought for better conditions for cotton mill workers in Kentucky, women in the workplace and poor defendants on death row. The organization bankrupted a Ku Klux Klan Organization, the United Klans of America, in a 1987 civil case. 

Dees has been a fixture in politics since the group's ascension, though his organization has faced scrutiny in the past.

A 1994 Montgomery Advertiser series provided a deep look into the organization controlled by the multimillionaire Dees, illustrating his near-singular control over the organization and its mammoth budget.

The series, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, revealed a figure seen as heroic by some and single-minded by others. Dees' critics said he was more concerned with fundraising than litigating. 

The series also alleged discriminatory treatment of black employees within the advocacy group, despite its outward efforts to improve the treatment of minorities in the country. Staffers at the time “accused Morris Dees, the center’s driving force, of being a racist and black employees have ‘felt threatened and banded together.’” The organization denied the accusations raised in the series.

"I would hope the IRS and the Justice Department would take this as [an] opportunity to come in and take a close look at The Center, it's finances and it's day-to-day operations," said Jim Tharpe, managing editor of the Advertiser in the mid-1990s, who oversaw the Advertiser series. "It's long overdue."

Dees' central role in the organization has also led to numerous threats against him, and the Advertiser previously reported that he has 24-hour protection at his home.

SPLC a war chest of funds that dwarfs over NAACP and Equal Justice Initiative

Over the years, the SPLC has continued to amass massive funds from donors amid differing levels of scrutiny. The nonprofit has hundreds of employees and offices in four states. The organization had nearly $450 million in net assets, according to publicly available tax documents filed for 2017.

That figure easily dwarfs other civil rights groups — such as the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP — during the same time frame. The Montgomery-based EJI had about $57 million in net assets at that time and the NAACP had about $3.8 million.

SPLC still fell behind other groups, like the American Civil Liberties Union, which pulled in more than $526 million between its main nonprofit and foundation in 2017 filings, with several local groups collecting additional millions of dollars not included in that figure.

In recent years, the organization has become nationally known and scrutinized for its Hatewatch work tracking the rise of hate groups, particularly white supremacists.

It produces research and advocacy work on a variety of topics, including payday lending, civil asset forfeiture and immigration rights. The SPLC also continues day-to-day civil rights litigation, including an ongoing lawsuit to address prison conditions in Alabama.

“The SPLC is deeply committed to having a workplace that reflects the values it espouses — truth, justice, equity and inclusion, and we believe the steps we have taken today reaffirm that commitment," Cohen said.

Brian Lyman contributed to this report.

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Melissa Brown at 334-240-0132 or mabrown@gannett.com.

 

Feds: Forgery operation produced over 10,000 fake documents

SALEM, Ore.-  Located in an apartment in a primarily Hispanic town in Oregoon, a clandestine lab churned out thousands of fake Social Security cards, drivers' licenses and immigration documents that were sold around the United States for years.

The operation, revealed for the first time Tuesday in a federal court document, showed that a syndicate based in Oaxaca, Mexico, operated the forged-document factory in Woodburn, a town of 24,000 in an agricultural region a half-hour's drive from Portland.

Employers, including farms, nurseries and wineries, routinely employ people who are in the United States illegally but who can produce a Social Security card or work visa. Many agricultural employers say it's not their responsibility - and that they lack the expertise - to determineine if the documents are genuine.

The arrest on Sept. 21, 2017, of Miguel Merecias-Lopez in a fast-food restaurant parking lot in Woodburn reveals how, in many cases, such documents are produced. Merecias-Lopez pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Portland to conspiracy to produce false identification documents and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He had gone to the parking lot to sell more than a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of meth, prosecutors said.

Homeland Security Investigations had already been looking at the syndicate they called the "Fraud Doc Ring" before the arrest, said Kevin Sonoff, spokesman for the United States Attorney's Office in Portland. After Merecias-Lopez was arrested, investigators went to his apartment and found computers, scanners, laminators, cameras and a high-resolution printer.

"The fraud ring operated in Woodburn for more than a decade and produced over 10,000 fraudulent documents that they distributed in Woodburn or mailed to customers around the United States," U.S. Attorney Billy Williams and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Sax said in the plea agreement posted Tuesday in court documents. Previous detailed court documents remain under seal.

The Fraud Doc Ring communicated with customers using Facebook, email, Snapchat and in person, the plea deal states. Customers emailed, texted or mailed the ring digital passport-style photos for insertion into the fake ID cards, or visited a clandestine photography lab in Woodburn where their photos were taken, the plea agreement says. Customers paid electronically through PayPal, through the mail or in person.

In the apartment, agents found dozens of security images and seals used in legitimate identification documents. They also found stored digital photos of more than 4,000 customers.

The Fraud Doc Ring produced a wide array of documents, including drivers' licenses for over 25 different states, Social Security cards, lawful permanent resident cards, U.S. and Mexican birth certificates and marriage licenses.

There is a huge market for such documents. Immigrants working illegally in this country accounted for about 46 percent of America's roughly 800,000 crop farmworkers in recent years, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Agriculture. Many more work in the nation's hospitality, service and construction industries.

Merecias-Lopez's attorney, Brian Walker, did not immediately respond to emailed and phone messages requesting comment. Merecias-Lopez said in his petition to plead guilty that he has a 10th-grade education, and that he understands that conviction can lead to imprisonment and deportation.

Merecias-Lopez, 24, moved to Woodburn from Oaxaca in January 2017, long after the fraud ring began operating. He is responsible for creating at least 300 fraudulent U.S. government documents, according to the plea agreement.

Government prosecutors and Walker are jointly recommending a low sentence. For the false documents conviction, he faces a maximum 15 years in prison and $250,000 fine. The drug conviction carries a maximum sentence of life in prison with a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence and a $10 million fine.

Sonoff said no other arrests have been made and that the current criminal inquiry focuses only on Merecias-Lopez and his co-conspirators, not on their customers.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 18.

USBP Agents Arrest Previously Removed Rapist

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol Agents apprehended a previously deported Mexican national with a violent criminal history after he entered the U.S. illegally Thursday morning east of Nogales.

During processing, agents conducting a records check on 38-year-old Juan Maldonado-Martinez discovered his Oregon convictions for rape in the third degree in 2003 and forgery in the first degree in 2004.

Maldonado will remain in federal custody to face felony immigration prosecution.

All persons apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure illegal aliens with criminal histories are positively identified.

Tell your legislators NO driver licenses for illegal aliens! Stop HB 2015!

Alert date: 
2019-02-28
Alert body: 

A bill giving illegal aliens Oregon driver licenses has just been introduced in the Legislature.  House Bill 2015 would give illegal aliens state-issued PHOTO ID, in the form of an official Oregon driver license.  Every reference to LEGAL presence or citizenship would be stripped from the driver license process we all go through.

We encourage everyone to call your state senator and representative and tell them to vote NO on Measure HB 2015.

It's easy to contact your Senator and Representative in Salem.  Click here to find out who your legislators are and how to reach them: http://www.oregonir.org/how-contact-oregon-state-legislators.

Oregon legislators can refer a bill directly to citizens to vote on it.  While we oppose HB 2015 on the merits, at the very least, the Oregon legislature should allow a referral vote by citizens.

Proponents call the bill the Equal Access to Roads Act.  The official title is: “Relating to documents issued by the Department of Transportation; declaring an emergency.”

Chief sponsors of HB 2015 are:  Rep. Hernandez, Alonso Leon, Sen. Manning Jr., Rep. McLain, Sen. Roblan.  Regular sponsors are:  Representative Barker, Boshart Davis, Bynum, Clem, Doherty, Evans, Fahey, Gorsek, Greenlick, Helm, Holvey, Keny-Guyer, Kotek, Lively, Marsh, Meek, Mitchell, Nathanson, Neron, Nosse, Piluso, Power, Prusak, Rayfield, Reardon, Salinas, Sanchez, Schouten, Smith G, Smith Warner, Sollman, Wilde, Williams, Williamson, Witt, Senator Beyer, Fagan, Frederick, Gelser, Wagner.

Your call or email in opposition to this bill is encouraged.  If your elected officials don't hear from you - they think you agree with their support of HB 2015.  It only takes a moment to call or email - do it today!

Background -- In 2014 Oregonians overwhelmingly defeated Measure 88 - a similar driver license bill - by a whopping two to one margin. In the 2014 election, 35 of Oregon's 36 counties voted against driver licenses for illegal aliens.  The bad bill, through a citizens Veto Referendum, was defeated in all five of Oregon's congressional districts.  A majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents voted against issuing driver licenses to illegal aliens.

Now proponents of HB 2015 want to overrule the majority!  Don’t let them!

Oregon Department of Corrections: Foreign National Drug Crime Report January 2019

Information obtained from the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) indicated on January 1, 2019 revealed that 77 of the 909 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) in the state’s prison system were incarcerated for drug crimes — 8.47 percent of the criminal alien prison population.

Using DOC U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the total number criminal alien inmates in the DOC prison system along with the number and percentage of those alien inmates incarcerated on January 1st in the state’s prisons for drug crimes.

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates W/ICE Detainers

DOC Number of Inmates W/ICE Detainers for Drug Crimes

DOC Percent of Inmates W/ICE Detainers for Drug Crimes

January 1, 2019

909

77

8.47%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 January 19.

The 77 criminal aliens in the DOC prison system incarcerated for drug crimes were 8.57 percent of all inmates, domestic and foreign, in the state’s prisons for drug crimes.

Using the DOC Inmate Population Profile and ICE immigration detainer numbers from January 1st, the following table reveals the total number inmates incarcerated for drug crimes, the number of domestic and criminal alien inmates incarcerated for drug crimes and the percentage drug crimes committed by criminal aliens.

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Number of Inmates Incarcerated for Drug Crimes

DOC Number of Domestic Inmates Incarcerated for Drug Crimes

DOC Number of Inmates W/ICE Detainers Incarcerated for Drug Crimes

DOC Inmates W/ICE Detainers as a Percentage of All Inmates incarcerated for Drug Crimes

January 1, 2019

899

822

77

8.57%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 January 19 and Inmate Population Profile 01 January 19.

Criminal aliens were incarcerated in DOC prisons for drug crimes from 16 of 36 Oregon counties — 44.44 percent of the counties in the state.

Four Oregon counties, Multnomah (16 alien drug criminals), Clackamas (15 alien drug criminals), Washington (14 alien drug criminals) and Marion (8 alien drug criminals) had 53 of 77 criminal alien inmates incarcerated in DOC prisons for the drug crimes — 68.83 percent of the alien inmates incarcerated for drug crimes.

Using DOC ICE immigration detainer numbers, the following table reveals the number and percentage of criminal alien inmates incarcerated on January 1st that were sent to prison from the state’s 36 counties for drug crimes.

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

County

DOC Number of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by County Incarcerated for Drug Crimes

DOC Percent of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by County Incarcerated for Drug Crimes

Multnomah

16

20.78%

Clackamas

15

19.48%

Washington

14

18.18%

Marion

8

10.39%

Jackson

4

5.19%

Lane

3

3.90%

Umatilla

3

3.90%

Wasco

3

3.90%

Deschutes

2

2.60%

Jefferson

2

2.60%

Malheur

2

2.60%

Benton

1

1.30%

Douglas

1

1.30%

Lake

1

1.30%

Polk

1

1.30%

Yamhill

1

1.30%

Baker

0

0.00%

Clatsop

0

0.00%

Columbia

0

0.00%

Coos

0

0.00%

Crook

0

0.00%

Curry

0

0.00%

Gilliam

0

0.00%

Grant

0

0.00%

Harney

0

0.00%

Hood River

0

0.00%

Josephine

0

0.00%

Klamath

0

0.00%

Lincoln

0

0.00%

Linn

0

0.00%

Morrow

0

0.00%

OOS (Not a County)

0

0.00%

Sherman

0

0.00%

Tillamook

0

0.00%

Union

0

0.00%

Wallowa

0

0.00%

Wheeler

0

0.00%

Total

77

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 January 19

Criminal aliens from four identified countries were incarcerated in DOC prisons for drug crimes.

Foreign nationals who declared their country or origin as being Mexico were 72 of 77 criminal aliens convicted of drug crimes incarcerated in the DOC prison system — 93.51 percent of the alien drug criminals in the state’s prisons.

Using DOC ICE immigration detainer numbers, the following table reveals the self-declared countries of origin of the 77 criminal alien inmates by number and percentage incarcerated on January 1st in the state’s prisons for drug crimes.

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Country

DOC Number of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by Country Incarcerated for Drug Crimes

DOC Percent of Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by Country Incarcerated for Drug Crimes

 

Mexico

72

93.51%

 

Honduras

1

1.30%

 

Italy

1

1.30%

 

Laos

1

1.30%

 

Unknown Countries

2

2.60%

 

Total

77

100.00%

 

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 January 19.

David Olen Cross of Salem, Oregon is crime researcher who writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. The preceding report is a service to Oregon state, county and city governmental officials to help them assess the impact of foreign national crime in the state. He can be reached at docfnc@yahoo.com. His past crime reports can be found at http://docfnc.wordpress.com/.

U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons: Criminal Alien Report January 2019

The United States having a significant foreign national population residing within the nations boundaries, be they legally or illegally present in the country, unfortunately includes those who commit crimes.

The extent and impact of foreign national crime on the U.S. citizens and residents of this country is clearly revealed by a simple search on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmates statistics website under the heading of inmate citizenship.

Here are the countries of origin, moreover, the number and percentage of those countries citizens recently incarcerated in the U.S. BOP prison system (Note: The most recent BOP crime numbers available were from January 26, 2019.).

Inmate Citizenship:

- México 21,691 inmates, 12.1 percent;
- Colombia 1,648 inmates, 0.9 percent;
- Dominican Republic 1,443 inmates, 0.8 percent;
- Cuba 1,192 inmates, 0.7 percent;
- Other / unknown countries 8,804 inmates, 4.9 percent;
- United States 145,133 inmates, 80.7 percent;

Total Inmates: 179,911 inmates.

To explain the meaning of these preceding criminal alien inmate numbers and percentages, I will translate them into words:

Combining January 26th BOP criminal alien inmate numbers, there were 34,778 criminal aliens in the BOP prison system. Alien inmates were 19.3 percent of the federal prison population.

With 21,691 Mexican nationals being incarcerated in the BOP prison system, at 62.4 percent, they were the vast majority of criminal aliens in federal prisons.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons breaks down the federal prison population into 13 types of offenses. One of the top five offenses, the reason inmates are serving time in federal prisons is for immigration crimes. There were 10,778 inmates in the BOP prison system incarcerated for immigration crimes; they were 6.4 percent of the federal prison population.

David Olen Cross of Salem, Oregon is crime researcher who writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. The preceding report is a service to federal, state, county and city elected and non elected governmental officials to help them assess the impact of foreign national crime in the United States of America. He can be reached at docfnc@yahoo.com. His past crime reports can be found at http://docfnc.wordpress.com/.

ODOC counts illegal alien inmates

SALEM, Oregon – The Oregon Department of Corrections reports that of Oregon’s 14,780 prison inmates, 909 of them are illegal aliens identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and have ICE detainers placed on them. The undocumented aliens in prison constitute 6.15 percent of the total prison population.

Illegal aliens convicted in Umatilla County number 25, or 2.75 percent. That’s seventh highest among Oregon counties. Marion County has the highest number – 222 inmates accounting for 24.42 percent. It’s followed by Washington (192), Multnomah (172), Clackamas (76), Lane (42), and Jackson (33) counties. In Eastern Oregon, only Morrow and Union counties show up in the count, each with two illegal aliens convicted there.

Statewide, 189 of those inmates have been convicted of sex abuse, 169 of rape, and 131 of homicide. Sodomy is the charge against 99 of them. The rest committed numerous other crimes including drugs, assault, kidnapping and burglary.

Of the inmates convicted in Umatilla County, homicide is the most frequent charge with nine convicted. Several were convicted of sex crimes. Other offenses include assault, drugs, and kidnapping.

A total of 726 of the ICE-detained inmates, or 79.87 percent are from Mexico. Twenty two are from Guatemala, 15 from Cuba, 14 from Vietnam, 13 from El Salvador, and 11 from Honduras. Other countries with single-digit numbers are Laos, Federated States of Micronesia, Russia, Canada, Ukraine, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Peru, and South Korea. A total of 62 of them have not declared their country of origin.
 

Lane County Sheriff″s Office accused of violating Oregon ‘sanctuary’ law

More than a dozen community organizations have accused the Lane County Sheriff’s Office of violating Oregon’s “sanctuary” law, but Sheriff Byron Trapp has denied the allegations and said his office is in full compliance with all laws.

The law, enacted in 1987 and affirmed by Oregon voters in November, says law enforcement agencies can not use personnel, money or equipment for the purpose of detecting or apprehending individuals who are only violating federal immigration laws.

In a Feb. 1 letter, the organizations outlined two specific examples that they said shows the sheriff’s office is violating the law. One specific concern is the jail notifying U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the pending release of an individual whom the federal agency has signaled an intent to take into custody upon release. The other concern is allowing ICE agents access into the jail.

“I don’t think the motives of the sheriff’s office are suspect. They’re trying to be a good community partner,” said Brook Reinhard, executive director of Public Defender Services of Lane County, which signed the letter. “Using the phone system or using any part of a county building is violating the statute. I don’t think it’s nefarious or anything like that.”

Other organizations that signed the letter include Causa, an immigrant rights organization, the Eugene Human Rights Commission, Centro Latino Americano, and the ACLU of Oregon.

The sheriff said he and his employees “recognize our duty to enforce the law and certainly we can’t put ourselves in the position of violating law and we will not do that.”

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Lane County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, demanding the sheriff address the organizations’ concerns, according to KLCC. County commissioners also are expected to hear the concerns at their meeting Tuesday.

Also on Friday, a Wasco County judge ruled that officials with the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities, or NORCOR, a regional jail in The Dalles, were violating the Oregon sanctuary law by notifying ICE when the jail is scheduled to release a foreign-born individual. The ramifications of the ruling, which is expected to be appealed, on Lane County is unclear.

The organizations sent the letter to Trapp on the same week that the Lane County Circuit Court canceled a trial for an individual who was arrested by ICE in December after his family posted bail, Reinhard said. The client and his family reported that county employees led him into a room in the jail’s sally port to show him how to use an ignition interlock device and two ICE agents were waiting to apprehend him, he said. The jail had notified ICE of the individual’s pending release, the letter said.

Around the same time, ICE agents arrested an individual at a provider’s office to attend court-ordered alcohol treatment, Reinhard said. The lawyer said the sheriff’s office had no involvement in that arrest.

Trapp said the jail will notify ICE they’ve begun the release process for an individual but only after the federal agency has made a specific request for that individual. Usually, the jail staff don’t know the immigration status of the individual being booked, he said.

The sheriff said it’s the same notification process the jail follows if any other local, state or federal law enforcement agency inquires about the release of an individual that they want to interview or otherwise make contact with. And it’s the same process the jail uses when residents call to ask about the release status of a family member or assailant, he said.

“We’re not doing anything unique or different (with ICE) than we do for ... law enforcement or non-law-enforcement citizens of our community,” Trapp said.

In the Wasco County case, NORCOR was notifying ICE when it was scheduled to release a foreign-born individual. Again, Trapp said the jail only notifies ICE of the release of individuals after ICE has made a specific request.

ICE agents use the same front door to enter and exit the jail that every other federal, state and local law enforcement agency uses, Trapp said. He said the organizations falsely accused the sheriff’s office of allowing ICE “special access to the back entrance” of the building.

The organizations demanded in the letter that Trapp cease the disputed practices, confirm he has done so and provide any revised instructions, policies or guidelines.

Trapp, who said he’s had prior conversations with many of the organization about his office’s relationship with ICE, isn’t planning to respond to the letter.

Judge rules NORCOR can’t notify ICE of inmate releases but can house ICE detainees

A Wasco County judge ruled Friday that two immigration enforcement practices at the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Center violate the state’s sanctuary law but upheld the jail’s contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The jail in The Dalles houses inmates for Wasco, Hood River, Sherman and Gilliam counties. But under an interagency agreement reached in 1999, it also has housed people detained by ICE on illegal immigration allegations.

Wasco County Circuit Judge John Wolf found that the regional jail’s past policy of notifying ICE agents of scheduled releases of inmates in state or local criminal cases violated Oregon law...

The judge also ruled the jail can’t hold inmates for ICE beyond the time that they would face for their criminal charge.

Yet the judge didn’t nullify the regional jail’s contract with the federal immigration enforcement agency.

The jail’s contract “to accept and provide for secure custody’’ of federal detainees didn’t violate state law, Wolf ruled. The judge considered the “ordinary meaning’’ of the word “apprehending’’ from the state sanctuary law to mean arresting or seizing someone, not holding someone in jail.

Wolf’s ruling means ICE will still be able to house at the regional jail people it detains for alleged immigration violations...

DOCUMENT: Judge’s ruling

The plaintiffs -- Wasco County taxpayers who filed the lawsuit in 2017 -- and the regional jail each declared a win...

Attorney Derek Ashton, who represents the regional jail, said he was pleased with the decision upholding the jail’s contract with ICE.

“The contract at issue is critical to NORCOR’s budget and operations and eases a tax burden on the people of Wasco, Hood River, Sherman and Gilliam counties,” he said in a statement. “Today’s decision ensures that critical funding source will remain in place.”

The plaintiffs had alleged misuse of tax revenues for immigration enforcement. They established it costs $97 a day to house an inmate at the jail, and ICE reimburses the jail $80 an inmate.

As the suit was pending, the regional jail changed its policy in April.

... ICE would pay NORCOR to house the inmates once the “paper transfer’’ was done.

But the judge said that the form wasn’t an arrest warrant, didn’t show any show probable cause and wasn’t signed by a judge.

“When a state or local inmate is no longer subject to custody on those charges, NORCOR does not have authority to maintain custody and must release the inmate,” Wolf ruled.

Since April, the jail has informed ICE of an inmate’s date of release, and if federal agents are present at the jail they may arrest the person in the lobby or the person is free to leave. A released inmate arrested by ICE in the lobby may be turned back to NORCOR to be held under the interagency agreement.

The judge’s ruled Friday, however, that any release notification by the jail to the federal agency violated the state’s sanctuary law.

The jail, though, can verify the immigration status of a person arrested for any criminal offense during the booking process. The jail notifies ICE when a foreign-born person is booked into the jail on state or local charges, either through the Law Enforcement Data System or the National Crime Information Center data system, or through an email or fax.

State lawmakers who adopted Oregon’s sanctuary law were clear that they intended to allow law enforcement officials to notify ICE about arrests so ICE to could follow up on their own, the judge found....

The Wasco County judge’s ruling likely won’t be the last on this issue, as both sides may appeal.

Oregon’s Marion County First in Foreign National Crime in November 2018

On November 1, 2018 Oregon’s Marion County had 226 of the 909 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) prison system; the county was first in foreign national crime in the state with 24.86 percent of the criminal aliens in DOC prisons.

The following table reveals how Marion County residents were harmed or victimized by the 226 criminal aliens incarcerated on November 1st in the DOC prison system with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ICE detainers.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Crime

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

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

Rape

49

21.68%

Sex Abuse

48

21.24%

Sodomy

32

14.16%

Homicide

22

9.73%

Assault

18

7.96%

Robbery

11

4.87%

Kidnapping

10

4.42%

Drugs

7

3.10%

Burglary

5

2.21%

Vehicle Theft

3

1.33%

Arson

1

0.44%

Driving Offense

0

0.00%

Escape

0

0.00%

Forgery

0

0.00%

Theft

0

0.00%

Other / Combination Crimes

20

8.85%

Total

226

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 November 18.

This table reveals, using the DOC ICE detainer numbers from November 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 Marion 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 Marion County by Type of Crime

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

Sex Abuse

189

49

25.93%

Rape

171

48

28.07%

Homicide

132

22

16.67%

Sodomy

99

32

32.32%

Drugs

77

7

9.09%

Assault

76

18

23.68%

Robbery

49

11

22.45%

Kidnapping

26

10

38.46%

Burglary

21

5

23.81%

Theft

11

0

0.00%

Vehicle Theft

5

3

60.00%

Arson

1

1

100.00%

Driving Offense

1

0

0.00%

Escape

0

0

0.00%

Forgery

0

0

0.00%

Other / Comb. Crimes

51

20

39.22%

Total

909

226

 

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 November 18.

The following table reveals the self-declared countries of origin of the majority of the 226 criminal aliens with ICE detainers who have harmed or victimized the residents of Marion County in the DOC prison system.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Country

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

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

Mexico

199

88.05%

Russia

4

1.77%

Federated States of Micronesia

3

1.33%

Guatemala

3

1.33%

Cambodia

2

0.88%

Other Countries

15

6.64%

Total

226

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 November 18.

Criminal aliens from 18 different countries have harmed or victimized Marion County residents.

David Olen Cross of Salem, Oregon is crime researcher who writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. The preceding report is a service to Oregon state, county and city governmental officials to help them assess the impact of foreign national crime in the state. He can be reached at docfnc@yahoo.com. His past crime reports can be found at http://docfnc.wordpress.com/.

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