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Oregon governor urges legal action against Trump directive

By ANDREW SELSKY
Of the Associated Press

SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown urged Oregon's attorney general on Thursday to quickly take legal action against the federal government over President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

Brown also broadened a 1987 law that prevents law enforcement from detaining people who are in the United States illegally but have not broken other laws.

“We will not retreat,” Brown told reporters in her office with law enforcement officials near her side.

Brown then signed an executive order that said all state agencies, and not just law enforcement, must follow the 1987 statute that essentially made Oregon the nation's first and only sanctuary state.

“I urge you to explore what legal remedies are available to our State to resist these anti-immigrant measures in court,” Brown wrote in a letter to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Oregon Deputy Attorney General Fred Boss said his office is reviewing similar legal cases around the country in order to determine how to proceed. He said he expected to announce a plan next week.

Diego Hernandez, a Hispanic freshman lawmaker from Portland who was present at the signing, praised the effort.

“It is important to reassure Oregonians that we will stand for our values of inclusivity and diversity, and do not discriminate on the basis of religion or immigration status,” he said in an interview.

Brown also said state agencies are required not to discriminate on the basis of immigration status. Brown said her executive order follows state and federal law.

Her executive order also forbids state agencies from participating in the creation of a registry to identify people based on religion. That was a pre-emptive action in case the Trump administration tries to register Muslims in the country.

On top of many political leaders’ minds is Trump's recent executive order that threatens to withhold federal funding from communities with sanctuary policies.

“Everybody is going to be worried in terms of that,” Hernandez said. “But I also believe that we're still following state law, that's our statute. We're following federal law. And let the courts determine what's the right thing.”"

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