June 16, 2010 - The ACLU of Oregon testified before Portland City Council in support of Council's resolution in support for the efforts to legally challenge the implementation of Arizona's recently adopted anti-immigration law, SB 1070.
TESTIMONY OF ANDREA MEYER
BEFORE PORTLAND CITY COUNCIL
IN SUPPORT OF RESOLUTION TO “AUTHORIZE ACTIONS TO SUPPORT IMMIGRATION REFORM AND PREVENT ILLEGAL RACIAL PROFILING”
(ARIZONA SB 1070)
June 16, 2010
The ACLU of Oregon appears to in support of this resolution. The ACLU, along with a coalition of civil rights groups filed the class action lawsuit on May 17 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona challenging the new law because it invites racial profiling, interferes with the federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as violates the First, Fourth & Fourteenth Amendments.
As the ACLU stated when it filed this lawsuit, “Arizona’s law is quintessentially un-American. We are not a “show-me-your-papers” country nor one that believes in subjecting people to harassment, investigation and possible arrest simply because others may perceive them as “foreign.”
Several law enforcement groups, including the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police oppose the law because it diverts limited resources from law enforcement’s primary responsibility of providing protection and promoting public safety in the community and undermines trust and cooperation between local police and immigrant communities.
Indeed, I want to emphasize this point. Oregon made a policy decision many years ago that we are not a “show-me-your-papers” state by enacting ORS 181.850. That law prohibits state and local police from enforcing federal immigration laws if the person is not involved in criminal activity. If an individual has already been arrested, Oregon law does allow contact with ICE. ORS 181.850 provides important safeguards for all Oregonians by ensuring that witnesses and victims of crime may report what they know without fear of government reprisal. Just one example of how important this law is in Oregon is in the area of domestic violence and sexual assault where victims, who would otherwise be afraid to report these crimes because of their immigration status, feel safe to come forward.
As now retired Hillsboro Chief of Police Ron Louie stated a few years ago:
“Public safety is necessary for everyone, regardless of immigration status – that’s simply not our job or function. The more we marginalize undocumented people, the more they will become victims of crimes themselves and the more difficult it will be for public safety to help them because of fear. The closer the police are to their respective communities, the more effective they will be for crime detection and crime prevention; and the more effective they will be for homeland security.”