Salem, Oregon- People are no stranger to states, counties, and cities enacting forms of “sanctuary” statuses for their areas in an effort to create the warm and fuzzies for people who are illegally present within the United States.
However, what most state and local legislators and policy makers are becoming cognizant of is that temper-tantrums that formulate into laws within the purview of their local level don’t have the ability to usurp federal law enforcement and practices.
In Salem, Oregon, locals are seeking to halt federal agents from arresting people in courthouses for immigration violations. Oregon’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters on Thursday has mandated that civil arrests in state courthouses are no longer allowed, unless the arresting agency has a judicial arrest warrant.
Yet, this newly adopted practice is likely to cause some issues and pin them at odds with federal agents.
According to ICE spokeswoman Tanya Roman, the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement will continue its mission and use its endowed authority as needed, and anyone who obstructs it could be charged with crimes. It makes perfect sense as well, as no one is “above the law”.
Activists for immigrants have complained about increased enforcement activity around courthouses and other places under the Trump administration.
ICE agents have been detaining people who appear for court proceedings and are suspected of being in the United States illegally. In one incident in July of this year, agents had pepper-sprayed family members of Fabian Alberto Zamora-Rodriguez, a suspected illegal alien who was charged with sexual offenses involving minors, who hindering agents from detaining him at a courthouse in Astoria, Oregon.
Katherine McDowell, an attorney and board member of the ACLU of Oregon, opined the following regarding the judges take on ICE being present in courthouses: :
“The courthouse rule stops these frightening practices and ensures that everyone can seek justice in our courts.”
Judges on the Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee had asked Chief Justice Martha Walters on October 18th to impose barring of arrests by ICE at courthouses, claiming that immigrants and even legal residents, are afraid to go to court because of fear they will be detained. Chief Justice Martha Walters stated that arrests in courthouses have inhibited with legal proceedings and removed criminal offenders before they have been sentenced.
According to Walters, the new rule was adopted “not to advance or oppose any political or policy agenda.”
Yet, since police are prohibited from cooperating on the ground level, Tanya Roman says that agents are forced to go to the courthouses in order to enact their duties, citing that “local policies that prevent law enforcement from cooperating with ICE.”
Roman said, without out directly saying, that the agency has no intention of abiding by unenforceable rulings by judges, in a statement she provided:
“ICE will continue to carry out its mission to uphold public safety and enforce immigration law, and consider carefully whether to refer those who obstruct our lawful enforcement efforts for criminal prosecution.”
Even though courts in New York State, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico have already limited or blocked ICE from conducting courthouse arrests, some of the judges on the rules committee are worried the rule could cause an armed confrontation between county sheriff’s deputies and federal agents.
Judge Lung Hung of Malheur County Circuit Court expressed his concerns about the enforceability when ICE agents decide to swing their federal weight, regardless of the mandates at the local level:
“I don’t know how we would handle that situation, honestly. It’s the enforcement that concerns me,” Leland Baxter-Neal, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Oregon, told the committee that ICE usually respects jurisdictions that have adopted similar rules.
ICE had also released an official statement regarding exactly where their authority begins and ends:
“ICE ERO officers have been provided broad at-large arrest authority by Congress and may lawfully arrest removable aliens in courthouses, which is often necessitated by local policies that prevent law enforcement from cooperating with ICE efforts to arrange for a safe and orderly transfer of custody in the setting of a state or county prison or jail and put political rhetoric before public safety.”
The agency also continued, not shying away from addressing the courthouse debacle:
“It is ironic that elected officials want to see policies in place to keep ICE out of courthouses, while caring little for laws enacted by Congress to keep criminal aliens out of our country.
Despite attempts to prevent ICE officers from doing their jobs, ICE will continue to carry out its mission to uphold public safety and enforce immigration law, and consider carefully whether to refer those who obstruct our lawful enforcement efforts for criminal prosecution.”
Whatever the outcome from all this, it’s likely not going to swing in the favor of those who want to prevent federal agents from doing their jobs.
Last month, Law Enforcement Today reported about a surprise announcement by the Oregon State Police that they’d be ending their policing relationship with Oregon State University after more than 30 years of working directly with the school.
It only took a couple of hours before the emails started coming in:
“I have been a professor here for more than 10 years. We didn’t want you pigs here anyway. You racists in uniform are doing more to intimidate and harass the developing minds of these young adults than you are doing any good. Screw off.”
Students celebrated the announcement as well, apparently.
“My parents didn’t pay for me to come here to be babysat by a militarized force. Don’t they have some unarmed people somewhere else in the state to go shoot?”
The anonymous commentary probably does more to reaffirm their decision to leave than anything else.
The agency made the announcement just two days after state police officials released the arresting officer’s body cam video footage showing an Oregon State Police campus officer’s arrest of a black, female student.
The video itself was in excess of 30 minutes and showcases everything from the cited traffic related infraction and subsequent arrest for failure to comply with a lawful order.
The statement provided by the Oregon State Police mentioned the rationale behind ending their relationship with the university:
“Considering our statewide obligations and concern for the safety of our own employees, the Oregon State Police has opted to allow our contract with OSU to lapse at year’s end, after the current contractual period expires.
Assigned personnel will be distributed to neighboring patrol offices to address vacancies. At the university’s request, we will extend our contract until June 30, 2020. This will allow OSU to supplant OSP resources in a measured, considerate manner.”
The officer interview and subsequent arrest became contentious when the young woman, later identified as Genesis Hansen, 21, refused to oblige the officers request for identification.
Police say she stated that she didn’t believe she had to provide her information and that she contested that she had committed any traffic infraction worthy of a citation.
Students who witnessed the arrest and recorded it on video questioned the amount of force police used to take the woman into custody. Not surprisingly, the NAACP denounced law enforcement’s actions.
— Genesis (@Genesis_Pegasus) October 14, 2019
All things considered, the initial officer and backup that had arrived after the suspect had shown blatant passive resistance showed tremendous patience while navigating the rouse that was being doled out by the suspect.
While people think of resisting arrest as something of a physical nature, passive resistance is defined as someone not being combative in their refusal to obey a police officer’s lawful orders while being questioned.
The officer’s patience was clearly wearing thin at around the 18-minute mark of the video after hearing Hansen proclaiming she’s a victim of targeting due to her being a “woman of color”; even earlier during the interaction between Hansen and the officer, he had mentioned that he was originally considering giving a warning for the alleged traffic infraction.
However, at this point in the discussion, he simply wanted her identification in order for him to complete his citation for the violation. The officer then provided the ultimatum of Hansen either providing her identification to the officers or that she’ll be placed under arrest.
Hansen, at roughly the 21-minute mark of the body cam footage, responded:
“I don’t answer questions.”
The officers responded by initially reaching for her hand in order to apply handcuffs while stating she’s under arrest. At that point, Hansen began pulling away from the officers attempts to lawfully detain her and was then brought to the ground by the officers who were able to apply the handcuffs without much effort.
A police expert told KATU News that legally the officer was within his rights to ask for identification, adding that the student was in fact resisting.
The news outlet asked Oregon State Police if the decision to end its contract with the university was at all related to the recent arrest of Genesis Hansen. The agency responded by saying it had “no further statement at this time.”
Oregon State University Vice President Steve Clark said Wednesday that the Oregon State Police told them that they made a decision to prioritize their staffing and at no point in that decision did the arrest of Genesis Hansen come up.
The Oregon State Police said it will continue providing law enforcement services to the college until next summer.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
It’s not the first time Oregon’s far-left, anti-police mentality has driven cops from protecting and serving.
In April, Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts wrote an email to his deputies, stating his concern for their safety.
“I will not place you at unnecessary personal and professional risk,” the email read.
The city of Portland is largely patrolled by the Portland Police Bureau and receives support from neighboring counties like Clackamas Sheriff’s Department. With this decision, remaining officers in the area will no doubt feel the stress of being understaffed.
VIDEO: 'Riot' Erupts in Portland, Ore. May Day Protest pic.twitter.com/IOr2g4qQId
— azcentral (@azcentral) May 2, 2017
The decision to stop responding to routine calls was made following a statement released by the Portland Police Association.
Due to the overwhelming ‘anti-police’ attitudes in the city of Portland, some officials are stepping in to say ‘no more.’ Enter – Sheriff Craig Roberts.
“The reason the Police Bureau is experiencing catastrophic staffing shortages, drastically declining recruiting success, and the inability to retain officers is due to one core issue: the intense anti-police sentiment in our City that City Council seems to share,” the post from the PPA read.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is concerned. He asked Sheriff Roberts to wait to enact his decision until after the May Day protest, but failed.
“ICE is responsible for terrorizing & imprisoning the migrant community of PDX.” #Antifa #Portland is organizing a May Day protest against border enforcement “fascism” on Wednesday at 1 pm at Elizabeth Caruthers Park. pic.twitter.com/Lp5dtvNyTi
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) April 29, 2019
“My own belief on this is pulling out a few days before sends a signal that people who might come to those demonstrations with the intention of doing harm, potentially vandalism, it send a signal that the Portland Police Bureau is going to be under-resourced. I was hoping he could hold off until after the May Day demonstrations but I was unable to persuade him to do that,” Wheeler said.
“False narratives, knee jerk political reactions, along with personal and political agendas have created a hostile work environment and made it an impossible task to effectively police in the City of Portland. Our police officers are frustrated. They deserve better.
They deserve to work in an environment where they can perform their primary function — keeping our communities safe — with the support of City Hall. Similarly, our communities are frustrated. They deserve better. They deserve safe, clean streets. It’s that simple,” the PPA’s post read.
“Our elected officials need to prioritize basic city services, the most basic of which is public safety and livability. They can start by doing three things: improving the livability of our drastically deteriorating neighborhoods; supporting the incredible work our officers do to keep our communities safe; and having enough police officers to satisfy our communities’ public safety needs.”
Portland officer have repeatedly been told to stand down during past protests. Mayor Wheeler tends to side with the liberal agenda, taking protests as just people expressing their feelings. But things have gotten violent a number of times.
I had actually looked into applying for Portland at one point. But when I saw the protests and mayhem over there I immediately pulled my interest. I see enough of that here, but Portland is a whole different level of anti-Police.
— T.J. Young (@LEOTJYoung) April 30, 2019
LET columnist James Lewis is a former LEO and served in the Air Force. He used to live in a suburb outside Portland, and is upset to see the way it has changed over the years. One of the biggest issues in the area?
The Police Commissioner also sits as the City Manager. Conflict of interest? Many say yes. The same individual that is supposed to be the head of local law enforcement is also making daily decisions about city works, budgets and more. Portland heads even consulted the head of Black Lives Matter when creating the 2019 contract for police.
“Portland used to be a really cool place,” Lewis said about the city. “It had a really strong logging and logistics industry. It changed a little when I was there in the 90’s, but since I’ve left, it’s gotten a hundred times worse.”
Lewis says companies like Intel and Nike drew lot’s of families from California up to the city. Those families stayed, thus leading to a big change in culture.
“It won’t get any better until the commissioner is removed,” said Lewis.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department also made a similar move in February, announcing they would be be providing less support for Portland calls.
Sheriff’s Roberts’ email to his deputies can be read in full below.
Sheriff’s Office Change in Services within the City of Portland
To all Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office employees: I want to give you an important update on changes to services we provide in the City of Portland.
As you know, our command staff and executive team have been actively assessing the risk of your work within the City of Portland.
Recently, Undersheriff Brandenburg met with many of our deputies assigned to answering routine calls for service in the City of Portland to listen to their concerns related to safety. I’ve also had conversations with other city, state and federal law enforcement leaders, including Portland Police Chief Outlaw. Lastly, I’ve taken into account the Portland Police Association’s concerns outlined in their April 8 statement, which you can read here.
As I said in my earlier email on this topic, I will not place you at unnecessary personal and professional risk.
As a result of these and other assessments, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office will pull back all staff responding to calls for services within the City of Portland in the coming weeks. Those actions are as follows:
We are working with TriMet to develop a new Intergovernmental Agreement that will reassign deputies to meet the public safety needs of citizens accessing TriMet within Clackamas County. We intend to continue assigning one sergeant and six deputies to provide timely responses for law enforcement services and maintain passenger safety.
With respect to deployment of special teams, we will evaluate requests for assistance on a case-by-case basis. This applies to SWAT, the Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT), and the Rapid Response Team (RRT/CERT).
We will continue our participation on the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
No changes will be made to operations involving Corrections staff who work the Electronic Home Detention Program, Parole and Probation staff who supervise clients in the City of Portland, and the Metropolitan Explosive Disposal Unit (MEDU). All will continue with their regular duties.
I don’t make these decisions lightly. I appreciate and commend the difficult work Portland Police officers do every day, and I also commend Portland Police Chief Outlaw for her leadership in a very difficult environment. I admire her commitment to improving public safety and community relations.
As Sheriff, your safety and the safety of Clackamas County residents remain my top priorities. Our work is dangerous enough without adding unnecessary risk when responding to calls for services in the City of Portland.
I also want to make this clear: We will always respond to help any officer from any agency in immediate need of assistance.
Take care of each other and be safe.