Oregon voters keep first-in-nation immigrant sanctuary law

Of The Associated Press

PORTLAND — Oregon voters weren't afraid to say no this election as they weighed in on an array of hot-button social issues from abortion to immigration to taxes.

Ballot measures to repeal the state's first-in-the nation immigrant sanctuary law, prohibit state funding of abortions and add a ban on future grocery taxes all failed at the polls Tuesday.

Voters also rejected a measure that would have required a legislative supermajority to approve bills that raise revenue in any way — not just through taxes.

The only statewide ballot measure to pass was one that will make it easier for government entities to finance and build much-needed affordable housing.

“Tonight, we've raised our voices in unison. We've shown the world real Oregon values and now it's time to put those values to work,” said Gov. Kate Brown, the Democratic incumbent who was re-elected Tuesday.

The measure to repeal Oregon's 31-year-old sanctuary law came against a backdrop of growing national anxiety over immigration.

Oregon adopted a law in 1987 preventing law enforcement from detaining people who are in the U.S. illegally but have not broken other laws.

Delmiro Trevino, a U.S. citizen born in Texas, was waiting for a meal in a restaurant in 1977 when three sheriff's deputies and a policewoman demanded he show documents proving he was an American.

The exchange bothered Trevino, who went with his wife to a legal aid group. He eventually sued and the case was settled in federal court the following year.

But when the legal aid attorney who helped him was elected to the state Legislature, the Democratic lawmaker introduced a bill that passed with bipartisan support in 1987.

The proposal to repeal the so-called “sanctuary law” was the most controversial of several measures on the Oregon ballot — something that was not the case when it was written.

Rocky Barilla, who wrote the sanctuary state bill and was Oregon's first elected Latino legislator, said late Tuesday he was relieved to hear the measure had failed.

“When the bill went through the legislative process, it was non-controversial. Maybe one or two people voted against it. There was no issue,” he said.

Measure 106, which would have banned the use of public funds for abortion coverage, also failed.

Voters have previously rejected attempts to limit access to abortions, including in 1978 and 1986, and Oregon has not placed any additional state restrictions on the procedure since 1973, when it became federally legal.

A measure requiring parental notification before a minor's abortion failed in 2006.

“I couldn't be more proud of our state,” said Grayson Dempsey, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon. “The threat was too serious and the stakes were too high to not fight back against this with everything we had.”

Measure 103, a measure to ban future grocery taxes, was seen by many as a pre-emptive strike against a statewide soda tax and grocery giants and the beverage industry poured millions into the campaign.

But many Oregonians simply saw it as another attempt at a sales tax in a state that doesn't have a sales tax and has consistently voted against one.



Enjoy your sales tax and your criminals, folks. Thanks for not mailing back your ballots.


Not a good night for unborn human babies trying to survive inside their mother. Apparently in Kate Brown's (and the majority of Oregonians) worlds they are fair game. So I guess Kate is right, in a perverse sort of way Oregon has "shown the world its real values."


Joel - it was a very good night for the born....women are people too and we are very capable of making our own decisions without government interference.


Probably an issue we'll never agree on, Mudstump.
But in my opinion women (and men) are very capable of making their own decisions without government interference...unless they have decided to kill a baby. When that is their decision, the government has to step in and try to save the baby.
Kate Brown not only disagrees with me on that premise, she takes it once step further and says the law ought to require all taxpayers to pay for the baby to be killed. That is really, really painful.
It gives me more empathy for those on the left who oppose war. The government forces them to pay taxes to build bombs and drop them on other human beings. Man that is very wrong too.


I am fairly certain I’m unacquainted with any person — male or female, Democrat or Republican — who espouses government control over his or her body. I’m too fat? Maybe, but I don’t want Joel or Mudstump to put me on a diet. I certainly don’t want Kate Brown or Dennis Richardson to mandate a weight loss program for me. I’ll make my own decisions about my own body, thank you very much.

If a pregnancy results in nothing more than unwanted tissue — akin to a wart, a tumor, an intestinal parasite or even an ugly schnozz — then Mudstump is absolutely correct. No one should have the right to tell a woman what to do with a mass of tissue growing on her body. If she wants to get rid of it, she should be able to do so. If she wants to keep it, more power to her.

If, as Joel believes, a pregnancy results in something more than a mass of tissue — a human life, for example — then the stakes are somewhat more complicated. The disagreement isn’t whether a person has autonomy over his or her own body — I’m pretty sure most of us agree on that.

Bill B

Arguments such as those made by Mudstump and Trafik continue to amaze me. How do you get past the fact that one is dealing with a life; not a wart or a tumor. One that has a heart beat! Last I heard, neither warts or tumors have a heart beat.


You should learn to read more carefully, Bill B.

Bill B

you are right Trafik; sorry


Thanks Trafik. That's a really interesting post. I think you're hinting that you agree with me...or at least lean a little in that direction?
I think with the quality images we see with modern ultrasound it has become harder and harder for Pro Choice people to make the claim that it is a decision about "their body." No, those images of a baby with a face and a beating heart and in some cases even sucking a finger or thumb shows that it not "their body", it's a baby.
I believe (although I can't remember where) that I've seen polling that shows that despite the fact that younger people tend to be more progressive in their political views in general, they are surprisingly becoming more Pro Life. I think a big part of it has to do with the quality and detail of those ultrasound images.


It annoys me when the abortion debate is framed as government intrusion or as a men-wanting-control-over-women’s-bodies sort of thing. In addition to being disingenuous, those are a simpleton’s arguments.

Yes, there are rednecks in compounds who want nothing more than to control every aspect of their wives’ and daughters’ lives; these are a small minority. To paint every person opposed to abortion with that cartoonish brush is dishonest and unrealistic but makes for good deflection.

To me, there is little difference between a full-term human baby seconds after emerging from its mother’s womb and another seconds before emerging. Yet Oregon law defines one as a human being worthy of full protection and the other as nothing more than an optional mass of tissue. I am astonished other intelligent human beings fail to see the enormous logical disconnect required to embrace such a distinction.

I do not want to know if Mudstump wishes to alter or remove any part of her body. Frankly, I find the thought distasteful so I certainly do not wish to have any role in what she chooses to do with herself. But if she chose to dispatch her infant child because she defined that child as inconvenient or defective, I’d have quite a bit to say about it. Choice, indeed.

What this debate comes down to is defining when a human life begins and is worthy of legal protection. Let’s not pretend otherwise.


Great--let's welcome more unwanted, throwaway children into this world. Which would you rather authorize: a pregnancy termination in the early stages or a 5-year-old child slowly tortured, burned by cigarettes, starved and finally beaten to death by monsters--or, more frequently, the meth head "boyfriend" of the single mother or even by foster parents. Look what has been allowed to happen in Oregon with the so-called assistance of the horrendous Children's Services Division. Imagine when death remains the sole respite from terror. Suffer the little children, indeed.


Trafik. Defining when an individual human life begins. Is it at conception? The sperm and egg join, there it is human life. It's begun. Is it an individual? Many will say yes. Once the life force begins it is a human life. Women there fore should have no say from that point on. They must carry the physical and mental and sometimes social consequences of supporting that life to term. Women have had to deal with having no choice through out history. To me an embryo is not independent it is part of the woman supporting it. At some point along its development she should be able to choose whether she can continue to support it. I will not question her reasons, I know it will be a difficult decision. So for me an individual human life begins when it can support itself. That might mean at a point when a cesarean birth is possible. History tells us women do decide to have abortions and they die because it is illegal and unsanitary. It is also about woman having control of their bodies.


Mudstump may be correct that women " are very capable of making [their] own decisions without government interference. " Perhaps they should be as capable of paying for their own abortions without asking the government to intervene, as well.


I know a number of women who’ve had abortions. Whatever respect and affection I feel for them is unaffected by this choice. I realize the decision to undergo an abortion is a deeply personal and sometimes agonizing struggle for many women. It’s neither my desire nor my place to pass judgment on a woman who has chosen to have an abortion.

But I have a moral issue with abortion itself. No amount of compassion changes the giant break from logical thought required to justify what can only be described as a ghoulish act. In Oregon, two identical, healthy, full-term babies can experience markedly different fates decided by one simple detail: whether or not they’re wanted. Just that. Nothing else.

In one case, the healthy, full-term baby and its mother are tended in a state-of-the-art facility by first-rate medical staff who stand ready to perform heroic measures to ensure the life of the child is spared should any complication arise. The child is wrapped in colorful blankets and presented to its mother while everyone celebrates the exciting event of the birth of a human being.

In the other case, the healthy, full-term baby is removed from its mother in a manner which causes its death and its body is discarded into a stainless steel pan. Like trash, more or less. No one celebrates although a growing movement is encouraging women who’ve had abortions to be vocal and proud about what should, on its best day, only be a very private act.

While many are happy to ignore the unnatural violence of the abortion procedure by defining a full-term, healthy baby as simply a part of its mother’s body just like any other part, I cannot accept that the movement of the baby from within its mother’s womb to without fundamentally changes its value.

Please note: I am referencing a healthy, full-term fetus, which is fully abortable under Oregon law. I am not discussing crime, poverty, birth defects, abuse, et al.


I wonder how many full term abortions are done when it is not a matter of saving the mother's life?


Mike - per CDC statistics, less than 1.2% of all abortions take place after 22-24 weeks as they are heavily regulated.

The vast majority of abortions take place BEFORE 12 weeks, with the majority of those BEFORE 6 weeks. No “baby” involved.

Potentially =|= Actuality

Illegal aliens and th kids they pop out here have no citizenship status. The legislative history and intent behind the 14th was to make former slaves had their children citizens, as well as children of American citizens; and it was made perfectly clear that illegal aliens and diplomats were excluded.


Trafik...."But I have a moral issue with abortion itself."

Currently, the law respects YOUR moral objection to abortion. The law respects EVERY woman's beliefs on the matter. Also, I respect your belief system as well. If no woman is required to go against her beliefs regarding abortion what is the problem?


Sponge - "Mudstump may be correct that women " are very capable of making [their] own decisions without government interference. " Perhaps they should be as capable of paying for their own abortions without asking the government to intervene, as well."

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyde_Amendment

In U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.

The Hyde Amendment is now part of a more restrictive act called....No Tax Payer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017


Sorry, Mudstump, I thought the issue was clear.

The problem is twofold. First, assigning value to a full-term baby’s life based solely on whether it’s wanted is problematic to those possessed of a profound respect for life in general. Going one step further, the movement from within a mother’s womb to without shouldn’t fundamentally change the value of that life.

Second, you address federal funding of abortion but you remain strangely silent on state funding. Did you think we wouldn’t notice? According to the Guttmacher Institute, the well-known reproductive health research organization, Oregon is one of 17 states using its own money to provide abortions to women eligible for Medicaid. “Its own money” in this context means “Mudstump’s money” (no problem there) and “Trafik’s money” (now we have a problem, see above).


Trafik - Wouldn't it be something if we could choose from an a la carte menu when it comes to how we want our tax revenue spent?

The funding comment was meant for Sponge....sorry for the confusion.


No confusion — I thought I’d put my two cents in since I dislike paying for acts I morally oppose.

I don’t know if it was ignorance or an attempt at deflection but you seemed focused on the Hyde Amendment to the exclusion of the roughly $1.9 million in public funds used to pay for over 3,500 abortions via the Oregon Health Plan in the 2017- 2018 fiscal year, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s own figures. I’m fairly certain that’s what Sponge was referencing.

If I’m wrong, I’m sure he’ll correct me.


Mudstump. I like the idea of an a la carte tax menu. There are many bloated budgets I'd like to cross off my tax burden.

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