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Crime, Law & Justice

Oregon Police Say They Won't Change Immigration Policy Under Trump

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Gage Skidmore
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Flickr.com

Many Americans are wondering how the pending Trump administration will eventually address immigration. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports on where some Oregon cities stand. 

The Corvallis police department has taken questions from locals on how they’ll enforce immigration directives from the trump administration.  City spokesman Patrick Rollens says there’s not going to be any change in policy, as officers follow state -- not federal law -- on immigration.

Oregon prohibits law enforcement from apprehending people whose sole violation may be an undocumented status.

“The Corvallis Police Department is not going to go out of its way to talk to someone about their immigration status, and that status really has no effect on our criminal law enforcement investigation or prevention services that we already extend to the community.”  

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Credit Sam Scott
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Immigrant rights supporters at May Day March in Portland, 2011.

Meanwhile, Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns says the state law is good for his department.

“Because often, undocumented immigrant communities are fearful of police so they don’t access our services when I wish they would," says Kerns.  "They’re more susceptible to crimes of intimidation, and we’d rather be in a place where we’re helping them, and able to respond to their needs.”

The American Immigration Council says 1 out of ten Oregonians are foreign-born.

Immigrant advocates are currently pushing for Eugene and Corvallis to become sanctuary cities.  Eugene’s Human Rights commission will take up the matter tonight (Monday, December 5th) in a public meeting.

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