Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order Thursday barring the use of any state resources to enforce federal immigration policy and called on the state Attorney General’s Office to sue the Trump administration over the president’s executive order on immigration.
“The president’s recent executive orders that divide and discriminate do not reflect the values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution or the principles we stand for as Oregonians or Americans,” Brown told reporters Thursday. “I want to make it very clear that here in Oregon, where thousands have fought for and demanded equality, where millions have put down roots and become integral to our economy and to our culture; we will not retreat.”
The governor said her order was a response to Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and visa holders from several predominantly Muslim countries, but also a proactive step in anticipation of further action by the Trump administration.
“We are hearing rumors of the fact that the federal government may consider creating a Muslim registry,” Brown said. “This would forbid our state agencies and our state agency workers from participating in that.”
On Monday, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced Oregon has signed on with 15 other states to an amicus brief in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Washington state’s federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over the immigration order.
In addition to joining the amicus brief, Oregon justice officials will ask the Washington judge to allow an amendment to add Oregon to the lawsuit, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office.
“I am pleased that Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has invited us to join their lawsuit against the federal government,” Rosenblum said in the release. “By joining Washington, we will be able to share legal resources with our neighboring state and at the same time ensure that the voices of Oregonians harmed by the President’s executive order are heard.”
The governor’s executive order expands a 1987 law that prohibits the use of state and local law enforcement resources in federal immigration enforcement.
“Oregon’s unique law has succeeded in keeping the deportation of immigrants by the federal government separate and distinct from the enforcement of our state criminal laws by our local police,” said Kimberly McCullough, ACLU of Oregon’s legislative director. “We are pleased the governor has extended this important state disentanglement to all state agencies and employees.”
It’s unclear how many people headed to Oregon were affected by Trump’s executive order, according to the ACLU of Oregon, which has provided legal support to airport detainees.
A 5-month-old Iranian girl who was scheduled to have surgery at Oregon Health & Science University for a heart condition was one of those not allowed to enter the country because of the president’s executive order, according to a report by KATU News.
“I find it deplorable that an infant who was supposed to come to Oregon to receive much needed live-saving care was not able to access that care at Oregon Health & Science University,” Brown said Thursday.
The governor’s executive order does the following:
• Bars state employees from discriminating against residents for their immigration status.
• Prohibits the use of state moneys, equipment or personnel for detecting or apprehending people solely on the basis of their immigration status.
• Prohibits the use of state resources to assist or facilitate the creation of a Muslim registry, or any other registry targeting a religious group.