Sanctuary Repeal Initiative Loses in Oregon
By Shari Rendall | November 9, 2018
On Election Day, November 6, the voters of Oregon defeated Measure 105, which would have repealed the state’s sanctuary law. Unofficial results show that the measure was voted down by 1,109,667 to 643,259, a margin of 63 -37 percent.
With the adoption of Oregon Revised Statute §181A.820 in 1987, Oregon became the first sanctuary state in the country. The law prohibits law enforcement officers from using “agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.” If voters supported Measure 105 and repealed the sanctuary law, it would have been a first as well.
Supporters of Measure 105, led by Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), mounted an extraordinary effort on a shoestring budget. Overall, the campaign to repeal Oregon’s sanctuary law spent $408,905. However, they had to direct significant resources towards qualifying for the ballot. They gathered 112,150 signatures, 96,700 were validated to qualify the measure for the ballot.
Opponents of Measure 105 were well organized and funded. They had over $7 million in their coffers to defeat Measure 105, an advantage of more than 16-1. The were joined by CEOs from major multinational corporations—most notably Mike Parker of Nike and Tim Boyle of Columbia Sportswear—ready as ever to defend their access to cheap labor. With their overwhelming monetary advantage, opponents were able to bombard the airwaves successfully mischaracterizing Measure 105 as “racial profiling.”
Shockingly, a report issued days before the election of a high profile murder allegedly committed by an illegal alien wanted on an ICE detainer, as well as support from half the Oregon sheriffs, did not sway Oregon voters to repeal the state’s sanctuary law.
Reacting to the loss, OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll said, “that’s disappointing, of course … [b]ut our goal was to give Oregon voters a chance to vote, and they voted.” And as OFIR stated in a Facebook post, “[w]e may have lost this battle — but, the war continues.”