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Oregon AG Sues Trump Over Sanctuary State Funding – Oregon’s 18th Lawsuit, Costing Over $100,000

Posted on 21 November 2018

Oregon “attorney general” Ellen Rosenblum has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Trump administration because federal funding for law enforcement is being withheld due to Oregon’s “sanctuary state” status for illegal aliens.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports:

Oregon sued the Trump administration Friday over a requirement the state work with immigration authorities if it wants to receive more than $4 million in federal grants.

The U.S. Department of Justice distributes Byrne JAG grants, which are used by jurisdictions across the country to help law enforcement fund new initiatives and fight crime.

Last November, the Department of Justice released a list of jurisdictions it says weren’t complying with 8 U.S.C. 1373, a federal law that promotes information sharing between local law enforcement and the federal government when it comes to immigration enforcement.

The list included both Multnomah County and the state of Oregon.

Oregon is a sanctuary state and prohibits local and state resources from enforcing federal immigration law if a person’s only crime is being the the country unlawfully.

“Defendants have implied in correspondence with Oregon officials that these statutes violate federal law by preventing cooperation between law enforcement and immigration authorities,” Oregon’s lawsuit states. “But in the statutes requiring Defendants to distribute Byrne JAG funds to states and localities, Congress did not impose any condition requiring states to have laws that aid Defendants’ implementation of federal immigration policy.”

In 2017, Oregon lawmakers passed another bill aimed and strengthening the state’s sanctuary law. That bill prohibits public agencies from releasing personal information for “the purpose of enforcement of federal immigration laws.” The statue makes exceptions for information required by state or federal law.

“For years, these grants have provided millions of dollars to law enforcement in Oregon,” Rosenblum said in a statement. “Suddenly these public safety funds have been withdrawn because Oregon will not submit to U.S. DOJ’s demand that Oregon participate in its immigration enforcement efforts.”

The U.S. DOJ withheld more than $2 million from the state in 2017, the lawsuit states. Oregon officials says they also don’t expect to receive the $2 million applied for this year.

California and Illinois have filed similar lawsuits.

This is at least the 18th lawsuit against Trump that Oregon has filed, which has cost Oregon taxpayers over $100,000 as of this past June.

This is the same “department of justice” that can’t keep track of 1000 convicted predatory sex offenders.

Ellen Rosenblum prefers to have rapists and child molesters walking the streets as long as it means pursuing frivolous, grandstanding lawsuits against President Trump in defense of illegal aliens.

Oregon governor Kate Brown tweeted on the latest lawsuit:

The full press release from Oregon “department of justice” reads:

Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today filed a lawsuit against U.S. President Donald J. Trump and acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker asserting that the federal government should not be permitted to force the State of Oregon to cooperate with their federal immigration priorities. The case focuses on the United States Department of Justice’s (U.S. DOJ) attempt to force Oregon to cooperate with federal immigration policies, using the threat of withholding federal law enforcement grants, called Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (“Byrne grants”).

The Byrne grants are set aside by Congress to pay for important community law enforcement programs around the country. Congress did not tie them to immigration enforcement. However, despite the fact that Oregon qualifies for the grants, U.S. DOJ has failed to provide the money to Oregon, citing Oregon sanctuary laws that limit the state’s participation in federal immigration enforcement. Last year, Oregon received more than $2 million in grant money, which was mainly used to fund Oregon’s extremely effective state and county drug courts.

“For years, these grants have provided millions of dollars to law enforcement in Oregon. But, suddenly these public safety funds have been withdrawn because Oregon will not submit to U.S. DOJ’s demand that Oregon participate in its immigration enforcement efforts,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “As we have seen, these efforts have frequently been both inhumane and dangerous. Our police and other local law enforcement need to be able to protect all residents of our state—regardless of where they were born or their immigration status. We are all safer when all of our residents are not afraid to report crime to the police.”

“Oregon voters sent a clear message to the Trump administration this week: Oregonians support our sanctuary laws,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “The Trump administration’s attempts to withhold public safety dollars from our state is unjust, dangerous, and unconstitutional. All Oregonians, regardless of their immigration status, deserve to have the full protection of our law enforcement. We will not stand for this administration’s attempts to strong-arm our state by withholding critical public safety dollars.”

The lawsuit alleges that two federal statutes that prevent the state from imposing some limits on employee communications with federal immigration authorities usurp state power and violate the United States Constitution. It also alleges that U.S. DOJ’s decision to impose conditions that Congress did not approve intrudes on congressional power.

The Governor and the Attorney General also invited the City of Portland to join in the lawsuit.

“The City of Portland’s commitment to public safety is demonstrated by the resources we put behind those needs. The Byrne JAG grant has been a critical source of funding for programs that benefit the most marginalized members of our community,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “The City of Portland maintains that it is and has been in compliance with federal law, making the denial of federal funds to support our community unjust and unwarranted. We look forward to obtaining appropriate relief from the judicial system.”

Since 1987, Oregon law has prioritized public safety by limiting the extent to which the state participates in federal immigration enforcement actions, thereby increasing the public’s trust in Oregon’s law enforcement agencies. Portland Police Bureau Policy specifically prohibits taking official police actions based only on immigration or citizenship status. The goal of the lawsuit filed today is to insure that the federal government cannot use Oregon resources to advance its poorly-considered immigration policies.

You can reach “attorney general” Ellen Rosenblum on her official public office phone number at 503-378-5476 or 503-378-6002.

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