Sanctuary repeal qualifies for ballot

An initiative petition that would repeal Oregon's sanctuary law has qualified for the November ballot.

An initiative petition to repeal Oregon’s sanctuary law has qualified for the November ballot.

More than 86 percent — 97,762 — of the 111,039 signatures submitted in favor of Initiative Petition 22 were validated. Only 88,184 were needed to land the measure on the ballot.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Justice continues to investigate allegations from voters that they were tricked into signing “Stop Oregon Sanctuaries.” The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office received 39 complaints with similar allegations.

The statewide sanctuary law prohibits the use of state and local resources to enforce federal immigration law, when a person’s only crime is being in the country illegally.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice threatened to yank federal law enforcement grants from sanctuary states, including Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown’s office said last week that officials have not received any recent communication from the justice department on that matter.

IP 22 was sponsored by Oregonians for Immigration Reform and three Republican state lawmakers — Greg Barreto of Cove, Sal Esquivel of Medford and Mike Nearman of Independence.

Last week, Oregonians United Against Profiling, launched an official opposition campaign against the measure. More than 80 businesses, labor organizations, faith and civil rights groups and law enforcement leaders have joined the coalition against IP 22.

Oregon lawmakers passed the sanctuary law in 1987 in response to a spate of racial profiling of immigrants by police.

In one high-profile case in 1977, Delmiro Trevino, a U.S. citizen of Mexican descent, was arrested at a restaurant in Independence because police suspected that he was undocumented. He later filed a class-action lawsuit. His lawyer, Rocky Barilla, won election as a state representative in 1986, marking the first time a Latino was elected to that position in the state’s history. He introduced the legislation that enacted the sanctuary law, which passed with bipartisan support.

The Capital Bureau is a collaboration between EO Media Group and Pamplin Media Group.

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