Immigrants' Rights

Portland Dreamer is Reunited with his Family, For Now — But this Won't be the Last Heartbreaking Story Under Trump's ICE

By Sarah Armstrong, Communications and Outreach Director

Francisco reunited with familyMarch 28, 2017 - Last night, Francisco Rodriguez Dominguez, a 25-year-old “dreamer” from Portland, was reunited with his family after being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Their emotional reunion was possible because people came together to resist the risky constitutional actions of President Trump’s immigration agents and to say loudly that they cannot take one of our own without a fight.  

Francisco is an Oregonian. He lives in the neighborhood he grew up in, graduated from Reynolds High School, and attends Mt. Hood Community College. He volunteers at his church, coaches an elementary school soccer team, and works at a food pantry that serves low income families. His family is in Oregon. His friends are in Oregon. Which is why it was shocking to learn that federal immigration agents, without a warrant and without any cause, raided his home on Sunday morning.

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Anti-Immigrant Ballot Measures Fail to Qualify in Oregon

By David Rogers, Executive Director

'immigrant rights are civil rights' signJuly 19, 2016 - Earlier this year, I told you that we were fighting three anti-immigrant ballot initiatives that were the work of the extremist group, Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR,) and their allies. Today, I am happy to tell you that all three measures failed to qualify for the 2016 ballot. 

However, our work is not over. OFIR has vowed to return next election cycle with their anti-immigrant agenda. Through their deep ties to white nationalist groups and funders, OFIR will continue to target immigrant families in Oregon.

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Why I Signed the Letter

Opposing Discrimination and Xenophobia

By Executive Director David Rogers

As presidential candidates spread fear-mongering rhetoric about immigrant communities, a local city councilor in Springfield, Oregon, recently opposed the appointment of a minister to a police advisory committee stating that the committee didn’t need “another minority element.” The minister is Pacific Islander.

We need a very different climate and discourse for addressing issues of race and cultural differences in our country and state. Oregon could be facing several ballot measures in 2016 steeped in anti-immigrant sentiment while offering policies that would harm all Oregonians.

The Asian and Pacific American Association of Oregon (APANO) just published an open letter to Oregonians to address recent hateful and discriminatory comments from political leaders nationally and here at home. It made perfect sense to have the ACLU of Oregon be among the original signers of this letter.

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Undecided on Measure 88?

We urge you to vote YES on Measure 88 for safe roads

Oregon legislators from both sides of the aisle came together last year to pass the Driver Card law because they knew that it would make Oregon roads and communities safer. They voted “YES” despite differences in their views about immigration reform. They voted “YES” for thousands of Oregon parents, seniors, students, and workers who need to drive every day in our state. As Governor Kitzhaber said earlier this week, “Driver cards for safer roads was a good idea then – and it’s a good idea now.”

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Oregon Voter Guide 2014


Oregon Ballot Measure Recommendations 


Oregon ballots have arrived! We have taken positions on four ballot measures that will impact civil liberties and/or civil rights in Oregon. Please check out our recommendations -- and thank you for exercising your right to vote.

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Top 8 Civil Liberties Victories of 2013 in Oregon

By Sarah Armstrong, Outreach Coordinator

It has been quite a year on the civil liberties front lines in Oregon. We picked our top eight civil liberties victories of 2013. Not surprisingly, intersections of privacy and technology make the most appearances on our list, but we also had wins for the rights of transgender people, immigrant rights, free speech, due process, and racial justice.

We love Oregon and are working hard to ensure it remains a place that honors freedom and values the rights of all people. Join us! Support civil liberties in Oregon.

#8 - You can’t be required to “friend” your boss.

It’s hard to believe, but some employers require that folks hand over their social media passwords, allow them to “shoulder surf” their online accounts, or mandate that they “friend” them on sites like Facebook. We helped pass a law in Oregon that prohibits employers (and public colleges) from that type of snooping.

Private activities that would never be intruded upon offline should not receive less privacy protection simply because they take place online. An employer would never be allowed to read an applicant’s diary or postal mail, listen in at private gatherings with friends, or look at that person’s private videos and photo albums. They should not expect the right to do the electronic equivalent.

#7 – No, you may not radio track Oregon students! (Well, at least not without telling us first.)

In November 2012, a Texas student was kicked out of school for failure to wear a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that was distributed for tracking attendance. RFID tags are tiny computer chips that are more commonly used to track everything from cattle to commercial products moving through warehouses. Oregon legislators took notice and went to work on a new law to prevent this from happening here.

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Bipartisan Group of Legislators Lead Oregon to Equal Access to Education Law

By Becky Straus, Legislative Director

Today in front of a packed room of supporters, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law HB 2787, a law that brings access to in-state tuition to all Oregonians, regardless of immigration status. The governor’s action marked the culmination of an over ten-year-long campaign for tuition equity in Oregon. It is about time.

A Democratic majority in both chambers and the rising political influence of Latinos in the electorate contributed to this great victory, but ultimately it was the leadership of a few key legislators that cleared the path for this bill’s passage. Sen. Frank Morse (R-Albany) and Sen. David Nelson (R-Pendleton), each now retired from the legislature, departed from the prevailing view of many in their caucus, and co-sponsored the tuition equity bill in the 2011 session. Their sponsorship demonstrated to Oregonians that tuition equity is about fairness rather than partisan politics. And their public support for the bill invited their colleagues to follow so that, despite the fact that Morse and Nelson are no longer in the legislature, eight Republicans (including Nelson’s successor) helped tuition equity pass in 2013.

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ACLU Wants Driver License Access for All Oregonians

By Becky Straus, Legislative Director

We are pleased that today Governor Kitzhaber made the right call, directing the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to resume issuing driver licenses to young immigrants who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but the announcement highlights a broader, urgent need to shift the conversation.

The time is long overdue for policy makers to de-link access to driver licenses with an applicant’s ability to prove lawful presence in the country and instead recognize that obtaining a driver license should be solely dependent upon road safety factors. Does the person know the rules of the road? Is that person insured?

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State Law Prevents “Show Me Your Papers” Laws in Oregon

By Becky Straus, Legislative Director

Following Monday’s Supreme Court decision in State v. Arizona, it is more important than ever that Oregonians are aware of and understand the long-standing legal protection in our state that ensures that Oregon will not become Arizona.

Section 2(b) of Arizona’s controversial S.B. 1070 requires Arizona police to determine the immigration status of someone arrested or detained if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that person is not in the country legally. While the Supreme Court decisively struck down the remainder of the unconstitutional and anti-immigrant provisions of Arizona’s law, it declined to strike down this “show me your papers” provision, sending the issue back to the lower courts to rule on whether the law could be interpreted narrowly enough to avoid constitutional violations. The Supreme Court’s decision not to immediately strike down this portion of S.B. 1070 is a dangerous mistake that immediately puts in jeopardy the rights of innocent individuals, as it is very likely that implementation of the law will result in racial profiling and prolonged detention of people in Arizona.

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