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Crime, Law & Justice

Immigrant Rights Groups Demand Lane County Commissioners Investigate LCSO

Lane County

Several immigrant rights groups testified to Lane County’s Board of County Commissioners, on Tuesday.  They expressed concerns about allegations the Lane County Sheriff is unlawfully assisting in Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests.

Credit Lane County
Erin Pettigrew, an attorney with Innovation Law Lab, spoke during public comment at a board of commissioners meeting.

PETTIGREW: "We urge as a group of organizations this board to investigate and to take seriously our concerns.”

Erin Pettigrew, with Innovation Law Lab, says Sheriff Byron Trapp’s practice of notifying ICE when an individual is released from jail is similar to those found at Northern Oregon Regional Corrections, or NORCOR, in The Dalles.

PETTIGREW: “That is calling ICE informing ICE of the departure time of an individual who has been identified as a target for deportation by federal immigration officials.”

Pettigrew is part of a legal team representing the plaintiffs in a case against NORCOR.

A county judge presiding over the case recently determined the practice of calling ICE on people exiting jail, whose only crime is being in the country illegally, violates Oregon’s sanctuary law.

“I think we’re now seeing in the NORCOR case and others, where the policy issues that we voted for are being put into effect,"  Pete Sorenson, the chair of the Board of County Commissioners, said in response to public comment during the meeting. Sorenson added that he'd like to see the same happen on a local level.

Sorenson told KLCC the board is planning on holding an executive session with the Lane County Council in the next few weeks to discuss the issue further.

This story has been updated to include Pete Sorenson's response and plans for an executive session.

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