As reported by Legal Reader
On Tuesday, Oregon voters shot down Measure 105, designed to repeal the state’s 31-year old sanctuary status.
The Statesman Journal reports that about 63 percent of 1.4 million votes were cast to keep the existing statute. Under its current law, Oregon prohibits local police from enforcing immigration law or passing on certain types of information to federal immigration authorities.
Advocates of the proposal say sanctuary laws—found in cities and states across the country—embolden undocumented immigrants and encourage crime.
In August, a coalition of Oregon sheriffs issued a statement urging support for Measure 105.
“Immigration-law violations are… precursors to other crimes illegal immigrants routinely commit in their efforts to conceal their illegal presence,” Clatsop County Sheriff Thomas Bergin said. He added that state law, as it exists and as it was challenged, protects undocumented criminals from punishment.
Bergin’s position was heavily criticized by the state’s liberal media. A Portland-Mercury article claims the sheriffs’ observations reveal “a general cluelessness” about the life of migrants in the United States.
Sanctuary laws have often been touted as shields against injustice. Opponents of Measure 105, says the Statesman, claim sanctuary ordinances counter racial profiling. Others claim that discarding the threat of deportation can empower migrants to report crimes and cooperate with law enforcement investigations.
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