Tensions are building among law enforcement in the fight over Oregon’s sanctuary law, which voters could decide to repeal in November, and lawmakers are weighing in.
Recently, 16 county sheriffs announced support for Measure 105, which would get rid of the state’s 31-year-old statute prohibiting use of state and local resources to enforce federal immigration law. In the statement, Clatsop County Sheriff Thomas Bergen says failing to enforce immigration laws legitimizes more law-breaking.
Oregon State Senator James Manning, who also is a former police officer disagrees. The Eugene Democrat believes these sheriffs are politicizing the issue and says repealing the statute could actually lead to more crime.
“We’re talking about communities of people that will be less likely to report crimes. Victimization will be increased as people, again, are not willing to report crimes and people will be taking advantage of that,” says Manning.
The sheriffs supporting Measure 105 represent nearly half of Oregon’s counties, but less than 20 percent of the state’s population.