Supporters of Oregon’s measure 105 lost their bid Tuesday to repeal Oregon ORS 181A.820, which limits the use of state and local law enforcement money, equipment and personnel for “detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law” pertains to their immigration status.
Oregon’s sanctuary roots dates back to 1987 when the citizens of Oregon decided that their resources were better utilized by not allowing law enforcement to assist in apprehending people whose only crime is that they are in the US illegally. Supporters of the law assert that it was passed to prevent racial profiling, while those in opposition claim the statute prevents those who have committed crimes from being deported. The ballot measure has caused a split within the Oregon law enforcement community.
The bipartisan bill was passed because of events that took place in Oregon in 1977 when a US citizen, born in Texas, was harassed by three sheriff’s deputies demanding he present documentation proving his citizenship. This interaction was upsetting enough for the man to bring suit against the state. The case was settled in federal court the following year. The lawyer for the plaintiff later became a member of the state legislature and sponsored the bill in question.
Oregon voters also rejected other ballot measures on Tuesday, including one that that would have prohibited the state from funding abortions.