A bill introduced yesterday with the support of two of Oregon's representatives in Congress would prohibit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from making arrests at schools, courthouses or health clinics.
The bill—the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act—has the support of Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Beaverton/Portland) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), along with 23 of their Democratic colleagues:
"Our communities are better and safer if all residents feel secure when accessing justice, seeking education and health care, or practicing their faith," says Bonamici in a statement. "Recent ICE action targeting immigrants has been aggressive and mean-spirited, and it does not improve the safety of our communities."
The bill follows a weekend of ICE sweeps in Washington, Oregon and Alaska that led to the arrest of 84 people—24 of whom had no criminal records. Three of the people arrested in Portland are "Dreamers"—immigrants who arrived in the country as children and were granted limited amnesty under former President Barack Obama.
"It's outrageous that ICE is targeting people leaving church or taking their children to school. People are living in fear and being forced into the shadows," says Blumenauer in a statement. "We're going to fight to make sure our churches, schools, and courthouses remain safe, welcoming spaces for all members of our community."
As WW reported in January, arrests at the courthouse are sparking fears in the immigrant community.
The bill's chances would appear slim, given that there's a Republican-dominated government in Washington and there are no Republican co-sponsors.