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Immigrant Rights Groups Say Lane County Sheriff's Office Violated Oregon Sanctuary Law

Lane County Sheriff's Department

The Lane County Sheriff’s department is accused of working with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or I.C.E. Over a dozen organizations, including immigrant law groups, say this violates Oregon’s 32-year-old sanctuary law.

Joel Iboa is with the immigrant rights group Causa, and Eugene’s Human Rights Commission. He says not only did the sheriff’s office tell deputies to call I.C.E. on undocumented immigrants released from jail, they also gave the federal agency access to the back entrance.

IBOA: “It’s a betrayal to Lane County voters, it’s a betrayal to the many, many years of work that the Latino community and the immigrant community has tried to create with public safety entities whether that be the Eugene police department, to the Springfield, or other departments in Lane County and including the sheriff’s department.    

Iboa says he’s wants department to end this practice. According to state law, police aren’t allowed to use state resources to arrest people because of their immigration status.

Both state and local organizations signed a letter demanding the sheriff's office end it's relationship with I.C.E. 

UPDATE: The Lane County Sheriff responded to the letter. Story here.

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.
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