For those who are ostensibly responsible for enforcing Oregon's laws, the three sheriff candidates — Brian Pixley, Dave Brown and Jim Gibson — appear to have not even read the actual law they hope to repeal. Even though they are never required to attend a law school, we expect them to be sufficiently knowledgeable about laws they must interpret on the spot in order to enforce. But their statements demonstrate ignorance unless they are trying to mislead voters.
The U.S. immigration laws are extremely complex and nuanced, requiring experienced lawyers to fully understand them, just like our tax codes. Imagine if this ballot measure is about empowering our cops to arrest any citizen who has tax problems?
ORS 181A.820 prohibits Oregon's police from getting involved in civil administrative violations of immigration regulations and prevents already stretched-out state and local agencies from being commandeered by the federal government.
The existing law, since 1987, already empowers the Oregon law enforcement to go after criminals regardless of their nationalities and to cooperate with federal agencies in enforcing criminal statutes.
The constitutional separation of state and federal sovereignties is at the core of the issue, and so is the police non-intervention in purely civil matters.
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