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Oregon Moves to Expand Sanctuary Status to All State Agencies

Oregon Republicans are outraged by legislation that would expand Oregon’s sanctuary state law, which has blocked local and state law enforcement from aiding ICE for the past 30 years, to cover all state agencies.

“(Gov.) Kate Brown and the Democrat Party’s lawless criminal chaos is now gaining national attention as the rest of nation can plainly see what her policies and that of other open border, criminal sanctuary politicians really mean for actual citizens,” said Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier.

“Bottom line: Their dangerous, far-left political agenda matters more than the safety of citizens,” added Currier. “For Kate Brown, the REAL protected class includes criminal illegal aliens, leaving citizens as the new ‘unprotected class.’”

Adding to their furor is the story of an accused rapist in Portland, Ore., an illegal immigrant who had been deported 13 times before his latest arrest.

“Under no circumstances should an alleged sex offending criminal illegal alien get off scot free from their heinous crimes,” said Senate Minority Whip Dennis Linthicum (R). “This is why we have rules, laws and the legislature… these institutions protect people.”

HB 3464 sailed through the Oregon Legislature, which is dominated by Democrats, without a single Republican vote. So, the GOP is increasing the pressure on Brown to veto the legislation.

“Sanctuary states excuse lawless behavior and perpetuate criminal, rape and gang cultures. Every Oregonian should be outraged to see criminals let loose into the streets,” said Linthicum. “Career Democrats shouldn’t sacrifice Oregonians’ safety on the altar of their extreme political agenda.”

Sen. Kim Thatcher (R) said Gov. Brown’s signature on HB 3464 “will be considered an act of lawlessness by my constituents.”

“Oregon has a serious human trafficking and sex trafficking problem. We need to stop calling Oregon a sanctuary state because it’s not a sanctuary at all,” said Thatcher. “We should be empowering law enforcement, not rapists and sex offenders. You have two choices: you either embrace the rule of law, or you embrace lawbreakers.”

Gov. Kate Brown (D), who has never vetoed a bill passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature, has more than championed the legislation. It was her idea. HB 3464 would codify an executive order Brown issued in February, which was a response to President Trump’s ban on most travel from a handful of Muslim-majority nations that were on a “countries of concern” list approved by Congress in 2015.

“We have heard threats of a Muslim registry at the federal level,” Brown said at the time. “I don’t know how sincere these threats are, but I want to be absolutely clear: We will not participate.”

Brown doubled down on that sentiment during her testimony in favor of HB 3464 before a legislative committee in June. She called for an end to ever again treating Oregon residents, whether they are in the U.S. legally or not, as criminals.

“History teaches us not to follow the federal government into public policy that betrays Oregon values,” Brown said. “Just upstairs in the gallery, an exhibition documents our state’s regrettable participation in the federal government’s incarceration of Japanese Americans… Oregon should stay true to our values.”

”At a time when resources are scarce, we should not be spending state resources doing the federal government’s bidding,” Brown added.

So, chances of a gubernatorial veto of HB 3464 are slim to none. But the Oregon GOP still might be able to make its case to the voters and turn back the sanctuary state clock by 30 years.

Oregonians for Immigration Reform, along with three Republican legislators, is leading a drive to place a proposal on the November ballot that would repeal Oregon’s original sanctuary state law, which followed a 1997 encounter between several police officers and a naturalized U.S. citizen.

“Every nation has a sovereign right to set its own immigration policies and we believe the state statute is in violation of federal law,” Jim Ludwick, spokesman for Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said. “People should have the chance to vote on this.”

Supporters of the petition drive need to collect 88,194 valid signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot. One Oregon, a statewide coalition that “defends against anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies and ballot measures,” will do its best to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Andrea Williams, executive director of the immigrant’s rights organization Causa Oregon and a leader of One Oregon, told the Statesman Journal that 14 resolutions had been approved by cities and counties in the state vowing not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“The last thing we need is our local law enforcement resources being used for federal immigration purposes,” Williams said.

However, Ludwick said, “People need to understand the cost of illegal aliens to the state of Oregon. Everybody has to obey the law.”