Today, the Innovation Law Lab released a comprehensive report on inclusion and Oregon’s statute, ORS 181A.
From its inception as a state, Oregon has struggled with exclusionary policies against immigrants and communities of color. In 1977, the unlawful and discriminatory interrogation of long-time Oregon resident Delmiro Trevino led to a lawsuit and culminated in the legislation known today as ORS 181A.820. Though overlooked and underenforced for many years, this “sanctuary” statute is an important and powerful tool in the effort to build a more inclusive Oregon by combating unlawful and discriminatory practices through the disentanglement of state and local police from federal immigration enforcement.
As President Trump’s administration advances a corrosive and divisive deportation policy, ORS 181A.820 is a crucial component of Oregon’s efforts to advance racial and cultural inclusion.
- By building trust across communities, ORS 181A .820 helps local law enforcement keep Oregon safe . Law enforcement agencies in Oregon and across the country support disentan- glement policies because they empower state and local police to focus their limited resources on key public safety objectives: preventing, investigating, and punishing crime. Disentangle- ment policies also improve public safety and effective policing by building trust and encourag- ing crime reporting at a community level.
- By protecting diverse communities from rights violations, ORS 181A .820 strengthens the rule of law. Oregon’s disentanglement policy is grounded in state powers enshrined by the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Disentanglement strengthens the rule of law by preventing the illegal and selective administration of federal civil immigration law by state and local officials untrained in immigration proceedings. This clear separation of roles reduces the risk of racial discrimination, profiling, harassment, and other rights violations by Oregon law enforcement agencies. It also promotes the uniform application of immigration law and protects Oregon localities from liability.
- By furthering inclusion, ORS 181A .820 improves Oregonians’ collective prosperity . Powerful empirical evidence shows that disentanglement policies not only improve community safety and the rule of law but also enhance civic engagement and raise the level of collective prosperity. These benefits are particularly strong in Oregon, where immigrants are an integral part of the state’s social fabric, history, and economy.
In contrast to the collective benefits of disentanglement, the Trump administration’s racialized agenda of immigration detention and deportation threatens to divide and destabilize Oregon communities. Looking ahead, it is critical that Oregon acts to fortify and expand its inclusionary practices and policies.
Read the report here.