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If you consider yourself a relatively decent person with a moral compass, voting no on Measure 105—which would invalidate Oregon’s sanctuary law—is a very easy choice. In a nutshell, the sanctuary law, which passed almost unanimously 30 years ago, stops law enforcement from using public resources to track down and arrest anyone whose only offense is being in the country illegally.
Opponents of the law want to repeal it, and it’s no surprise why they’ve chosen this particular moment in time. Inspired and emboldened by Donald Trump’s racist “zero tolerance” anti-immigration stance, Oregon’s far-right conservatives want local law enforcement to assist federal agencies like ICE in arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants—regardless of the horrors they may face in their home countries.
But the passage of Measure 105 also causes further harm—such as increased racial profiling, which the sanctuary law was originally designed to curtail. Documented immigrants, as well as people of color who were born in this country, are already harassed by ICE agents who incorrectly assume citizenship status based on skin color. Wiping out Oregon’s sanctuary law would almost certainly entice bad-apple cops into committing further acts of prejudice.
Wiping out Oregon’s sanctuary law would almost certainly entice bad-apple cops into committing further acts of prejudice.
Communities of color are already distrustful of police, and their suspicions would only intensify if the police were working hand-in-hand with ICE. Law enforcement depends on cooperation from these communities in order to prevent and solve crimes—but there isn’t much of an upside to coming forward with information when the cops may very well turn you over to the feds. Those experiencing domestic violence would be even more wary of contacting police, putting them in further danger.
Measure 105 is steeped in fear and racism: Proponents incorrectly assert (employing Trump’s coded language) that undocumented immigrants bring more crime to their communities, which could not be further from the truth. A number of studies reveal the exact opposite—in fact, undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born citizens, and by a large margin. And while 18 rural Oregon sheriffs, Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler, and groups such as Oregonians for Immigration Reform (which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) have come out in favor of the measure, their suspect concerns have been met and opposed by an overwhelming number of Oregon’s law enforcement officials, district attorneys, mayors, businesses, and faith organizations.
This is a very easy choice. Vote a resounding no on the racially fueled Measure 105.