America is not a welcoming nation today. Any list of things to celebrate must grapple with this fact. Our country has elected a president who is trying to round up undocumented immigrants and bar refugees from haven. We are complicit in turning the United States into a callous, greedy bully.
So it matters that the leaders of Portland have spoken in union, and said no.
"We will not be complicit in the deportation of our neighbors," Mayor Ted Wheeler said on Jan. 25, after President Donald Trump threatened to pull federal grant funding from "sanctuary cities" that harbor undocumented immigrants. "We will not compromise our values as a city or as Americans and will resist these policies." Within hours, the Multnomah County chairwoman, county sheriff and city police chief echoed that defiance.
Related: President Trump's Immigration Crackdown Threatens $49 Million Of Portland City Budget
The practical meaning of that stand: Local law enforcement won't help federal immigration agents find and deport immigrants. Our police won't hold people until agents can arrest them, and they won't tip off U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement where immigrants are.
That righteous rhetoric isn't so easily accomplished. As WW reported last month, ICE is acting more aggressively—in at least one instance with the alleged aid of a sheriff's deputy. And our values are hard to square with the fact that Latino families—the majority of undocumented immigrants in Portland—can't afford the monthly rent here.
But even half measures matter. They matter to the immigrant families seeking health care and access to the courts. They matter when the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon files suit against the White House to let refugees land at Portland International Airport. And they matter when our congressional delegation fights for a 4-month-old Iranian girl to be allowed to enter the country for heart surgery at Oregon Health & Science University.
These efforts are a reason to be proud of our city. They say we refuse to sell our soul.
Welcome to Reasons to Love Portland 2017
1. Portland Is Telling Donald Trump That He Won't Get Away With This
2. We're Rich! Portland Has The Nation's Fastest Growing GDP
3. Here's How Far Portlanders Have Ridden in the First Six Months of BikeTown
4. We're Very Happy That Portland Bartenders Can Finally Drink on The Job.
5. When the Snow Hit, Portlanders Saved Lives By Volunteering at Homeless Shelters
6. At Long Last, Portland Has The Kinky Coffee Shop It's Needed
7. A Selected List of All Portland's Recent Number 1 Rankings
8. Move Over PCT: You'll Soon Be Able to Mountain Bike From Washington to California
9. Oregon Has The Nation's Cheapest Weed. Thank God.
10. This is the Best Ski Season Mount Hood Has Had Since Obama Was a Senator
11. Nobody Snowdays Harder Than Portland
12. Portland Finally Has Architecture Worth Arguing About
13. Check Out This Crazy New Recording Studio in a Former Library in Deep Southeast
14. Weed Delivery Will Begin in Portland Any Day Now
15. In Portland, You Never, Ever Need To Call Domino's
16. Portland Is Home to the Most Liberal College in America. No, Not That One.
17. There's A Forgotten Wonder In Oregon City. It'll Soon Be Revealed
18. Portland's Blazers Bootleg T-Shirts Are Lit
19. Portland is Metal AF
20. ILOVEMAKONNEN Moved To Portland. No, For Real
21. Sorry, Donald, We Won't Help You Deport Our Neighbors.
22. Portland Now Has a Patriarchy-Free Social Club and Workspace
23. Oregon is the New Truffle King of the World
24. Check Out These Photos of the Winter Light Festival
25. In Portland, You Can See Every Movie Nominated For an Oscar in the Theater
26. Portland Art Museum is Tapping into the Legacy of Arguably Oregon's Greatest Artist
27. Yes, Portland Has More Pinball Machines Than New York and Los Angeles
28. Portland Has Vegan Everything. A Selected List.
29. In Portland, Dive Bars Never Really Die