Gov. Kate Brown has asked the Oregon Department of Corrections to investigate its "day-to-day" interactions with federal immigration agents, after internal emails obtained by WW raised questions about the state agency's practices.
Brown reviewed ODOC's policies on providing information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last year when she issued an executive order limiting what Oregon law enforcement agencies can share with the feds.
She authorized ODOC to continue its existing practices. But after WW inquired about the emails this week, she has asked the agency to investigate its "day-to-day interactions" with immigration officials.
"Governor Brown directed DOC to investigate the day-to-day interactions the agency has with ICE to ensure state law, court rulings, and her executive order are not being violated," spokesman Chris Pair said in an emailed response to questions from WW. "Governor Brown believes this kind of transparency is key to informing Oregonians of how changing federal immigration policies interact with longstanding Oregon state laws and practices."
One email in particular suggests the state prisons may have given ICE more information than required or allowed.
On March 28, 2017, and ICE agent asked a prison official to share information from an inmate's file "like phone numbers for family or friends or copies of identification cards or documents."
The emails obtained by WW did not include ODOC's response, but spokeswoman Jennifer Black confirmed that the prison provided the name, address and phone number of the inmate's family to ICE.
"After discussion with Governor Brown's office, we were given direction to implement a thorough review of our internal practices, procedures and communications with ICE, including this specific instance," Black says.