By editorial board • 

Measure 105 demands rejection at the polls

In 1987, the Oregon House voted 54-3 and the Oregon Senate 58-1 to prohibit local authorities from assisting in the enforcement of federal immigration law. And the House concurred with the final version, incorporating Senate amendments, by a count of 58-1.

In the end, the only two no votes were cast by two Southern Oregon Republicans — the late Sen. Lenn Hannon of Ashland and Rep. George Trahern of Grants Pass. The vast majority of the 90-member Legislature’s 42 Republicans supported the move.

My, how the political climate has changed. Now, even self-described moderate Knute Buehler feels obligated to join in virtually lockstep GOP opposition.

The vehicle is a repeal initiative appearing as Measure 105 on the November ballot. Its passage would turn back the clock three decades in Oregon.

The 1987 measure has been widely credited with creating the nation’s first “sanctuary state” for violators of American immigration law. But it actually does no such thing.

It simply bars local law enforcement officials from using “agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.” It affords unlawful immigrants no protection from federal apprehension, sanction or deportation.

And keep this in mind: Undocumented presence in the U.S. is a violation of civil law, not criminal, holding the same legal status as a speeding ticket.

Crossing the border illegally is a criminal act, but the vast majority of immigrants residing in the U.S. illegally simply overstayed legal visas. They did not brave armed guards and barbed wire fences marking key crossing points.

Normally, the more conservative and Republican end of the spectrum accords local authority primacy over federal privacy, champions state’s rights and local control, demands local focus on serious crime against property and persons, and opposes expenditure of tax money outside an agency’s basic mission.

Here it’s just the opposite. The most conservative among us are suddenly demanding we turn local cops into agents of the otherwise hated and feared federal government.

That shows how much Donald Trump has succeeded with the immigration fear-mongering that marked first his campaign and later his presidency.

Passage of Measure 105 would subject members of Oregon’s largely legal Latino residents, some of whom have called the U.S. home for generations, with racial profiling and other manifestations of ethnic harassment. It risks intimidating them into forgoing their legal rights to report crimes, cast votes and fully participate in Oregon life in other ways.

In 2014, the forces now pushing 105 succeeded with a similar measure. It repealed legislation establishing a driver card system designed to keep undocumented immigrants from being forced to drive unlicensed and uninsured.

Here’s hoping for a resounding and emphatic no.



Tell that to the families of their loved ones murdered by illegal immigrants:

And the families of Border agents killed in the line of duty:

"Let's do a basic math problem: If from 2006 through 2010, the U.S. GAO found that 25K homicides were the responsibility of illegal aliens and the rate per year remained constant, how many homicides would be expected to have been the responsibility of illegal aliens from 2001 through 2016. Answer: 65,000."


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