Every week, I receive fear-mongering mail about immigration threats and the need to repeal Oregon's Sanctuary Law. The Sanctuary Law passed the legislature 30 years ago with overwhelming approval from both sides of the aisle. Oregon's sanctuary law prohibits the use of state and local resources to enforce federal immigration law. It is intended to protect the rights of U.S. citizens of Mexican descent or other nationalities from harassment, false arrest and from utilizing Oregon's funds for implementing federal policy.
The Trump administration has whipped up anti-immigration emotions, making what has been sound policy to appear weak and ineffectual. While the numbers of immigrants have been going down, President Trump falsely claims the problem is growing rather than abating. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, illegal border crossing apprehensions have steadily fallen since 2000.
I am proud that our state of Oregon is a sanctuary state. Ultimately it helps all Oregonians retain our precious policing resources for actual crimes. Oregon's sanctuary law does not cooperate with the illegal and corrupt procedures for intake at the borders nor abuse of immigrants. Applications for asylum seekers are being processed slowly, possibly due to cuts in staffing or perhaps as a deterrent to immigrants making applications. Our processing of immigrants must avoid the unlawful practice of apprehending people at appropriate border entry points, claiming they were attempting illegal entry or denying entry at the check-in points, forcing illegal entry, as has been claimed. Several children separated from their parents and placed in detention centers have suffered sexual and other physical abuses. The cruelty perpetrated by our federal government against people seeking safety and security in our country should not be supported by our state. I will be proud to vote to protect our sanctuary state status at the polls.