ACLU of Oregon, Rep. Bonamici applaud Gov.'s request for legal action on immigration order

SALEM, Ore. – Governor Kate Brown asked Oregon’s attorney general to legally challenge President Trump’s recent immigration order as a way to “reaffirm Oregon’s commitment” to protecting citizens.

In her announcement, Gov. Brown also said she would be broadening a 1987 statute that prohibits law enforcement from arresting people solely because they are illegally living in Oregon.

The rule now applies to all state agencies, and not just law enforcement, meaning they cannot discriminate on the basis of immigration status.

Several groups and politicians voiced their support for Brown’s move, including Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and the ACLU of Oregon.

The governor said her new order does comply with state and federal law, which should not jeopardize state resources. When asked if she was willing to risk that funding, Brown responded by saying "I am willing to do what's right to make sure we protect Oregonians, we protect our culture, and we protect our economy."

“While Oregon competes in a global economy, we face an uncertain future and threats from an administration willing to cut funding that sustains economic growth and supports critical services for Oregonians,” Brown said. "I am deeply disturbed by all of this, we should all be deeply disturbed."

The ACLU of Oregon, along with several other immigrants’ rights groups, recently filed a lawsuit against Trump’s immigration order.

Below is a statement from Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici:

“I commend Governor Brown for her important and principled stand in issuing the Executive Order establishing Oregon as a state that will protect its immigrant, refugee, and religious minority residents. It is an affirmation of our core values and our respect for all Oregonians.

“This Executive Order states unequivocally that Oregon will not use state or local resources to enforce federal immigration laws or federal orders that violate the constitutional rights of the residents of our state. Allowing communities to use humane and effective law enforcement strategies fosters trust and makes Oregon a safer place to live. Speaking up for immigrants, refugees, and religious minorities also recognizes the importance of the global economy and the many businesses and universities in Oregon that are connected with people and economies around the globe.

“It is abhorrent that there is a national discussion about creating a religious registry, but Governor Brown’s prohibition against using state agency resources to create such a registry is commendable.

“As we fight President Trump’s divisive and intolerant policies, this statement of inclusivity embraces our diverse communities, including our immigrant and refugee residents and our religious minorities. It is a proud day for Oregon, and I applaud the Governor for her action. In Congress, I will do everything in my power to pursue a comprehensive immigration policy that creates a fair system to bring millions of aspiring Americans out of the shadows so we recognize what they contribute to our country’s future. As the granddaughter of immigrants, I welcome and appreciate the diversity of NW Oregon.”

David Rogers, ACLU of Oregon’s executive director, said:

“Governor Brown’s executive order is a meaningful action that reaffirms our state agencies and employees will uphold Oregon’s values of nondiscrimination and inclusiveness. These shared values are an integral part of making Oregon a vibrant and flourishing state that strives to treat all people with respect and dignity.

It is within the governor’s authority to direct state agencies under Oregon law. It is not within the federal government’s authority to require that states enforce federal immigration law.

In 1987, the Oregon legislature determined it was in Oregon’s best interest to prohibit the use of state law enforcement resources in federal immigration enforcement. The reasons cited at that time are still valid today. We want our police to serve all members of the communities and that cannot happen if police are making guesses about whether a person is an undocumented immigrant or not. People will not report crimes or be witnesses if they fear for their safety. This law has worked well in Oregon for 30 years.

The ACLU of Oregon will stand with the governor if this order is challenged.”

Kimberly McCullough, ACLU of Oregon’s legislative director, said:

“Oregon’s unique law has succeeded in keeping the deportation of immigrants by the federal government separate and distinct from the enforcement of our state criminal laws by our local police. We are pleased the Governor has extended this important state disentanglement to all state agencies and employees.

We also firmly believe that any attempt by the federal government to create a religious registry should be met with full, swift resistance. In addition to directly violating Oregon law, a government registry of this type is a danger to our open society.”

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