Letter: An argument for 'no' on M105
Ballot Measure 105 asks Oregon voters to repeal ORS 181.850, often referred to as the sanctuary law. This is actually an anti-profiling law and does not does not provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants — the federal government is still free to arrest undocumented immigrants. The law only stipulates that state and local resources cannot be used to arrest people whose only crime it to be foreign citizens without documentation.
This law was originally enacted to prevent racial profiling as a result of a U.S. citizen being interrogated for suspicion of being an undocumented alien based only on ethnicity. In his letter in support of the measure, Clatsop County Sheriff Thomas Bergin claims that police officers would never racially profile Hispanics, but the reason the law was enacted contradicts that claim. Racial profiling is still an issue with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) being accused of it by several news outlets. In addition, ICE has been accused of violating other constitutional rights of immigrants. The result of passing this measure will ensure more rights are violated.
One of the false claims made by the supporters of Measure 105 is that virtually all undocumented aliens commit the crime of identity theft by using false Social Security numbers to gain employment. In actuality, the Social Security numbers are made up to gain employment and are not stolen identification. This is not a crime as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2009 that a person must knowingly use the Social Security number of another person for it to be a crime. In the cases where the activity is illegal, ORS 181.850 allows local law enforcement to arrest and share information with federal law enforcement.
The main backer of this measure is Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), an organization which has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Members of OFIR, including Richard LaMountain, have been identified as contributing to white nationalist publications.
Oregon has a dismal history in the treatment of minority groups, from African-Americans to the internment of Japanese Americans. It is past time to treat all minorities with the human dignity that they deserve.
Vote "no" on Ballot Measure 105.