- Measure 105 seeks to repeal ORS 181A.820, Oregon’s disentanglement law, frequently called the state’s “sanctuary” law. The statute is 31-years-old and was passed with broad bipartisan support and support from law enforcement. It allows local law enforcement to investigate crime and to seek out information about suspects, while directing their resources away from biased policing, racial profiling and immigration enforcement activities. By prohibiting the use of local resources to detect or apprehend immigrants whose only alleged violation of law is an immigration violation, the statute provides clear guidance to law enforcement serving Oregon’s diverse communities.
- ORS 181A.820, the law Measure 105 would repeal, was passed in response to rampant racial profiling in rural communities. Prior to the passage of ORS 181A.820, it was common practice for law enforcement to go to areas with significant Hispanic populations and arbitrarily arrest and detain people until they could prove their citizenship or legal residency. In 1977, Delmiro Trevino, a US citizen of Mexican descent, was publicly interrogated by a group of police officers at the Hi Ho Restaurant in Independence, Oregon. Trevino reported the incident to attorney Rocky Barilla, who filed a class action lawsuit based on Oregon law enforcement’s racially discriminatory practices. The lawsuit paved the way for the creation and subsequent adoption of Oregon’s disentanglement statute.
- Measure 105 was authored by an out-of-state anti-immigrant think tank called the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR boasts close ties to white supremacist organizations and has long track record of supporting anti-immigrant initiatives. Measure 105 is just one of several initiatives that FAIR created to repeal disentanglement laws nationwide; Oregon is the only state that put it on the ballot, making our state a battleground in the nationwide fight to preserve these laws.
- Measure 105 is only supported by two organizations, yet opposed by over 400 organizations and law enforcement professionals. The principal supporters of the measure are FAIR and Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), both of which have been designated anti-immigrant hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Opponents of the measure include over 400 law enforcement professionals, district attorneys, advocacy groups, and businesses, including the ACLU of Oregon, AFL-CIO, Nike, and Columbia Sportswear.
- If Measure 105 is passed, it will have disastrous effects on community safety. Repealing the disentanglement law leaves space for racial profiling and discrimination, and decreases trust between communities of color and local law enforcement. Research has consistently shown that when immigrant communities do not trust local law enforcement, they are less likely to report a crime if they are a victim or a witness, thus leading to a widespread public safety crisis.
To learn more about the history of ORS 181A.820, read a comprehensive report authored by the Innovation Law Lab, “Belong: Strengthening Oregon’s Disentanglement Statute to Enhance Public Safety, Protect Fundamental Rights, and Promote Collective Prosperity.”
The full text of the ORS 181A.820 statute can be found here.