Heed Sheriff Kaber — vote to repeal sanctuary law

Herald News
News article

Many thanks to Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber, who recently declared his support for Measure 105. If a majority of Oregon voters follow his lead, they’ll repeal the state’s dangerous illegal-immigrant sanctuary law.

In a statement written by Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin and endorsed by Kaber and 16 other Oregon sheriffs, Bergin noted that the sanctuary law “tells illegal immigrants that Oregon considers immigration-law violations so inconsequential as to be unworthy of police and sheriffs’ attention.

In doing so, it legitimizes those violations and encourages more.” He’s right. How, indeed, can the existence of a sanctuary law do anything but attract illegal immigrants to our state?

The purpose of immigration law is to protect our nation’s sovereignty — our right to self-determination as a free, autonomous people. That sovereignty is undermined when state and local governments — like Oregon’s — purposely thwart that law with policies that give safe haven to those who break it.

How does the sanctuary law affect rank-and-file Oregonians? “Virtually all adult illegal aliens commit felonies in order to procure the documents they need to get jobs, to drive and to obtain other benefits,” writes Ronald Mortensen, a fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies. Indeed, notes Mortensen, “the Social Security Administration and New York Times report that approximately 75 percent of illegal aliens have fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers.”

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration, CNS News’ Terence Jeffrey reports, found that between 2011 and 2016 there were “more than 1.3 million cases of identity theft perpetrated by illegal aliens...ineligible to work in the United States.”

These kinds of crimes can wreak havoc on innocent Oregonians — and, notes Bergin, “are well within local police and sheriffs’ purview.” But thanks to the warped, Alice-in-Wonderland logic of the sanctuary law, the very fact that illegal immigrants are here illegally is what can render them off-limits to further scrutiny.

What of violent crime? Last year, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese cited the sanctuary law as justification for releasing Sergio Jose Martinez, an illegal immigrant and multiple deportee, from his office’s custody. U.S. immigration authorities had lodged a detainer against Martinez and asked Reese to inform them before releasing him — but Reese declined. “State law prohibit[s] Oregon sheriffs’ offices from holding anyone based solely on an immigration detainer,” Reese said.

After his release, Martinez assaulted two Portland women, one sexually. “That he was able to commit the . . . crimes at all defies [U.S. immigration] law and insults common sense,” wrote Billy J. Williams, U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon. But thanks to Oregon’s sanctuary law, “criminals who are here illegally are being released into communities throughout the state on a daily basis.”

The toll is high. In one recent month, three-quarters of the nearly 1,000 criminal aliens confined in Oregon prisons were in for homicide, assault, robbery, kidnapping, rape, sodomy and sex abuse. Haven’t we had enough?

Heed Sheriff Kaber: Repeal sanctuary for illegal-immigrant lawbreakers. When you receive your ballot, vote yes on Measure 105.


— Richard F. LaMountain is a former vice president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. In 2014, he was a chief sponsor of the ballot measure via which Oregon voters rejected illegal-immigrant driver cards.


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