Eight immigrant rights groups say that Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton's proposed plans to stop honoring U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement detainers for low-level criminals doesn't go nearly far enough.
"Multnomah County's practice of honoring ICE holds erodes our communities' trust in law enforcement, tears families apart, lends to racial and ethnic profiling, and violates basic principles of due process," the statement reads. "While Sheriff Staton's compromise proposal mitigates some of those harms; it does not eliminate them."
Among the signatories is Causa Oregon, whose executive director, Francisco Lopez, told WW on Wednesday that the new policies were "a good compromise."
WW reported Wednesday that Staton is prepared to ignore federal requests to put holds on undocumented immigrants brought to his jails for nonviolent misdemeanors. Most county jails in the United States follow a program called Secure Communities, where local jails share fingerprints with the FBI, who in turn gives them to ICE. The agency can then ask counties to hold the prisoner for up to two business days.
Staton's new policies would be a shift from total compliance with ICE, but the department would still keep inmates who were brought in for felonies and violent misdemeanors, and also honor detainers if ICE could prove a prior serious criminal record. Other areas, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City have completely rejected all ICE requests.
Here's the full text of today's statement from the ACT network:
The undersigned organizations feel that Sheriff Staton's compromise on the issue of honoring federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers falls short of the change necessary to reestablish real trust and safety in our community. The new policy as reported by Willamette Week is out of step with the best practices around ending police-ICE collaboration in other jurisdictions around the country; which include New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles; and barely represents a change from the status quo. The bottom line is that we do not want our local jails and law enforcement to carry out the business of ICE.
Multnomah County's practice of honoring ICE holds erodes our communities' trust in law enforcement, tears families apart, lends to racial and ethnic profiling, and violates basic principles of due process. While Sheriff Staton's compromise proposal mitigates some of those harms; it does not eliminate them. "Although we applaud the Sheriff's gesture, this proposal is simply not enough," said Kayse Jama, Executive Director of the Center for Intercultural Organizing. "We want nothing short of a complete end to ICE holds in Multnomah County."
We call on Sheriff Staton to enforce a simple principle and a simple policy: Multnomah County will immediately and permanently end the practice of honoring ICE holds.
Signed on behalf of the following organizations with the ACT Network:
Center for Intercultural Organizing
Jobs with Justice
Oregon Dream Activist
Voz Workers' Rights Education Project
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee
American Friends Service Committee