Oregonians had no problem voting no during this year’s midterm election. All but one of the ballot measures on this month’s ballot failed.
The only measure that passed, Measure 102, gives local governments more flexibility when it comes to funding affordable housing projects.
Other than that Oregonians said no to…
- Measure 103, which would’ve changed the state constitution to ban any tax on groceries despite there being no push for such a tax;
- Measure 104, which would’ve changed the requirements for any bills that would raise state revenue;
- Measure 105, which would’ve repealed Oregon’s long-standing sanctuary state status;
- and Measure 106, which would’ve banned public funds for abortion.
Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson and 15 other sheriffs released a letter on Monday endorsing a ballot measure that would repeal the state’s sanctuary law. In the letter they stated that Oregon’s sanctuary status “undermines respect for law in significant ways”. They also suggest that the state’s sanctuary status interferes with the policing of immigrants who cause crimes.
However, nothing in Oregon’s sanctuary law prohibits police officers or sheriff’s deputies from enforcing the law or arresting suspects. The law only prohibits the use of state and local resources to enforce federal immigration law if a person’s only infraction is being in the country illegally.
The sheriffs who signed the letter make up nearly half of all the counties in the state, but those counties only contain 16 percent of Oregon’s population.
Sheriff Nelson says he supports ballot measure 105, which would repeal the sanctuary law, because he wants to get rid of the conflict between local and federal laws. However, even law enforcement in Deschutes County is split on the issue.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said the state’s sanctuary status allows law enforcement to hold people who commit crimes accountable, while also protecting the civil rights of those immigrants who haven’t committed any crimes.