FAIR Statement to Oregon House of Representatives on HB 3464
The Honorable Mike McLane, Vice Chair House Committee on Rules Oregon House of Representatives 900 Court St. N.E. Salem, OR 97301
RE: H.B. 3464
Dear Representatives Williamson and McLane, On behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) nearly 2,000 members and supporters in Oregon, I am writing to thank you for holding a hearing on H.B. 3464 and I urge you to oppose this “emergency” immigration legislation which expands Oregon’s sanctuary law. Immigration legislation must focus on protecting American families, not shielding criminal aliens.
In requesting the legislation, Governor Kate Brown said, “We must ensure the civil rights of all Oregonians are protected and that the rule of law is respected.” However, if H.B. 3464 is enacted, the rule of law will not be respected. In 1996, Congress adopted the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act to prohibit state and local governments from restricting their employees from sharing and receiving information regarding illegal aliens with the federal government. H.B. 3464 directly conflicts with the purposes and objectives of this law by prohibiting state and local officials from disclosing the immigration status of individuals they encounter thereby prohibiting cooperation with federal officials in the enforcement of immigration law. Sanctuary policies, such as H.B. 3464, that shield criminal aliens from the administration of federal law conflict with the execution of immigration law as Congress intended.
Furthermore, H.B. 3464 threatens the public safety of all Oregonians. It fails to protect the public safety of Oregon residents and prioritizes the interests of those with no legal right to remain in the United States. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement estimates, roughly 2.1 million criminal aliens are living in the U.S. and more than 1.9 million of them are removable. Criminal aliens are able to live in communities and engage in further criminal activity when state and local law officials are prohibited from sharing the immigration status of individuals they have probable cause to believe are illegally present in the country. Essentially, this legislation requires state and local officials to supplant their own judgment over federal officials’ with regards to which foreign nationals may remain in the United States. Oregon citizens are best protected when streams of communication and cooperation remain open with federal officials with respect to the enforcement of immigration laws.
While Governor Brown says the state needs to ensure the civil rights of all Oregonians are protected, she is completely disregarding how tragedies committed by criminal aliens have torn apart American families. The Oregon Department of Correction April 1, 2017 Inmate Population Profile shows there were 14,644 individuals incarcerated in the state. Nine hundred and sixty-two of them are criminal aliens who have committed such crimes as rape, kidnapping or murder. These crimes are not victimless crimes. Kate Steinle, probably the most well-known victim, was tragically shot and killed by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal alien with seven convictions and five previous deportations. Sanchez admitted he went to San Francisco because he knew he would be shielded from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Finally, H.B. 3464 puts national security at risk. It is no secret that Americans face serious threats from terrorist organizations. With the FBI investigating nearly 1,000 active terrorism cases in the U.S., federal agents are stretched thin and depend heavily on information provided by state and local officials. By impeding communication with federal immigration officials, H.B. 3464 will create an environment where terrorists and other criminal aliens can go undetected and uninterrupted. If H.B. 3464 is enacted, Oregon will send a clear message to its citizens that it cares less about protecting public safety than ensuring that illegally present criminal aliens remain in the state. FAIR urges the House to oppose H.B. 3464 to protect Oregon’s citizens.