PDX Dispatch April 25: Snitches Get…Snitches

Oregon’s first-in-the-nation 1987 “sanctuary” law shielding illegal immigrants from federal immigration law, the Sanctuary Promise Act, was expanded in 2021 allowing anyone to sue public officials for reporting immigration violations to federal authorities, providing “an option to hold accountable individuals and entities that violate this policy”.

That should not be read to include, just yet, private citizens, but would enter individual violators acting in a public capacity into a database maintained by the state’s Criminal Justice Commission, which has been tasked with recording and considering for investigation each and every complaint. Naturally the CJC is focused on “restorative” justice and limiting police authority to reduce incarceration.

Now Oregon’s Department of Justice has launched a telephone hotline where anyone, including illegal aliens themselves, can snitch on those who snitch to federal authorities:

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon launched a statewide Sanctuary Promise Hotline this month for anyone to report suspected violations of Oregon sanctuary laws in any language.

According to a press release by Oregon’s Department of Justice, the Oregon Legislature recently provided funding for the DOJ to staff the hotline with culturally responsive and “trauma-informed” advocates. The department will investigate all allegations of sanctuary promise law violations.

“For the first time, any person in Oregon can report a sanctuary law violation to a hotline designed to support and meet our communities’ needs,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “Our immigrants, refugees, and migrant workers are our friends, neighbors and co-workers, and they are a vital part of our social and economic fabric. Oregonians value fairness and dignity, and all people should feel safe in their communities.”

She added, “No one should feel like they cannot show up to work or school for fear of being arrested, detained or deported. We intend to follow up on every single call and urge all Oregonians to be aware of and use this new resource.”

The state’s long-standing sanctuary laws restrict state and local law enforcement as well as state and local government agencies from collecting, storing or sharing information about a person, said the DOJ.

This information can include national origin, immigration or citizenship status, for the purposes of enforcing federal immigration law. Examples of Sanctuary Law violations include civil arrest without judicial warrant or order from a court facility and arrests by federal immigration agents of a person on their way to or from court or while in court.

The state is tying the sanctuary hotline to their Bias Response Hotline, casting, say, a sheriff’s deputy in rural Oregon reporting a suspected rapist to ICE as akin to the proverbial and vanishingly rare skinhead committing a hate crime.

This isn’t the first hotline the department has created.

In January 2020, the Oregon Department of Justice launched the Bias Response Hotline, which has fielded over 3,000 reports of hate and bias occurring throughout Oregon, said the DOJ.

If you or someone you know was targeted in violation of Oregon’s Sanctuary Promise laws, you can call 1-844-924-7829 or the Spanish direct line 1-844-626-7276.

People can also call the hotline to receive support or be connected to resources. The DOJ says it may open an investigation into the violation, if reported.

Operators for the hotline are standing by 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with interpreters in 240 languages.

Oregon bolstered the sanctuary law in 2017 in response to Trump’s nationwide immigration raids and turbocharged it in the riotous environment of 2021 with the lawsuit provision and the–increasingly and sinisterly standard with this type of legislation–database.

Of course being a sanctuary state costs Oregon–more when Trump was in office than now–and we’ll lose among other things federal funds compensating us for the many illegal aliens in our jails–but that’s only fair. We claim even the worst of them as “Oregonians”.

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