Sheriffs speak out on repealing sanctuary state law


    A letter signed this week by 16 Oregon sheriffs says at the very beginning, "respect for the law, among citizens and non-citizens alike, is indispensable to a free society," and goes on to urge Oregonians "to vote 'yes' on Ballot Measure 105."

    Central to the 105 debate is how would affect law, law enforcement, and crime, if at all.

    State Senator James Manning, a Democrat from District 7 and a former police officer, says one of the biggest dangers, should it pass, is that crimes will go unreported out of fear of profiling.

    "When people feel that they're going to be targeted because of what they look like, what they sound like," he explains, "communities that they live in, reporting crimes and stuff will go underground."

    On the other hand, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who signed the letter, told us in a statement, in part, that "sanctuaries compromise public safety because they disregard immigration law, thereby weakening respect for and possibly encouraging disregard for other laws."

    Meanwhile, Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp, who didn't sign the letter, wrote to us that it doesn't make a difference. he says quote, "this is a community decision to make through the voting process. If the effort is successful, it won't have a measurable impact on the sheriff's office operations."

    Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni agrees with that, but says he signed the letter because it shouldn't be a state decision to begin with.

    "They're trying to deal with an issue at a level that it can't really be dealt with," Zanni says. "It's congress' responsibility."

    It makes Measure 105 a hot topic this election for all sorts of reasons, though we can only speculate until November.

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