Beaverton boards, Human Rights Council reaffirm support for diverse population
Two Beaverton advisory boards and the Human Rights Council of Washington County have reaffirmed support of a diverse population and the right to feel secure regardless of immigration status.
The statement, adopted Monday and announced Tuesday at a Beaverton City Council meeting, avoids a specific stand on Measure 105 on the Nov. 6 statewide ballot.
Voter approval of Measure 105 would repeal the 1987 law that limits the role of state and local police and prosecutors in federal immigration-law enforcement. (The law does enable them to check on the immigration status of people arrested on suspicion of crimes, and arrest people with federal criminal warrants.)
As advisory boards, they cannot take a stand on ballot measures — although the Beaverton City Council and two top Washington County officials, Sheriff Pat Garrett and District Attorney Kevin Barton, oppose Measure 105.
The statement was presented by Farrah Chaichi, who leads the Beaverton Human Rights Advisory Commission.
The statement by the Diversity Advisory Board, the Human Rights Advisory Commission and the Human Rights Council of Washington County says in part:
"Individuals shouldn't have to live in constant fear of disclosing their federal immigration status. Hard-working, contributing members of our community shouldn't have to feel that they're putting themselves and their families at risk by simply going about their daily lives.
"We believe that our entire community is safer if there is trust between residents and the law enforcement agencies that exist to protect us all. Trust makes it possible for individuals to feel safe reporting crimes, to come forward as crime witnesses, and to collaborate with police to further community safety.
"If people feel they have become targets for the very entities that pledge to protect them, community policing strategies are destined to fail.
"Asking local law enforcement and public officials to play the role of immigration officials pits members of the community against each other and leaves local priorities by the wayside. To live up to our core values, we must ensure that public services and benefits (including public safety) are provided to all residents, regardless of immigration status."
See also this story about Measure 105:
The full statement can be read here:
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.