PORTLAND, Or. – The Portland Police Bureau had previously signed a two-year contract with the Department of Homeland Security that allowed federal immigration officials to use their facilities to train.
Now those ICE officials are being told to go somewhere else.
Why? Because ‘activists’ got upset and the city bowed down to their demands.
The contract had been signed back in 2018 and allowed federal officials within ICE to use the PPB’s Northeast Airport Way facilities to train, including shooting on their firing range. The deal was expected to continue though August 2002.
But that all changed on September 19, when Portland Deputy Police Chief Jami Resch sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security letting them know that Portland was terminating the contract, leaving the federal officials without a home for their continued training.
But here’s the thing… the PPB isn’t kicking any other officials from Homeland Security out from using their stuff – only those within Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
After a group of activists approached the police bureau with their concerns over the ICE officials, the department caved.
Oregon Live reported that the combined efforts of the Portland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, a group calling themselves Close the Concentration Camps and City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty challegened the contract.
The Portland Police Bureau has terminated a two-year contract that allowed federal immigration enforcement agents to use the firing range and classroom space at its training center. https://t.co/5IkXpqhocy
— KTVZ NewsChannel 21 (@KTVZ) September 25, 2019
And on Wednesday, the city caved and bowed to their demands.
“After an internal review, the Portland Police Bureau is no longer allowing use of its Training Division facility by a portion of the United States Department of Homeland Security because the use of the facility must be consistent with the City’s values and Federal, State, and local laws,” the Police Bureau said this week.
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The groups that had gotten together to demand that the contract be terminated cited the fact that Portland followed sanctuary city protocol, barring local law enforcement from assisting or working alongside federal immigration officials.
Because of this, they say city funds cannot be used to help out with ICE.
So they demanded the facilities be removed from ICE access.
”The use of PPB’s training facility by other law enforcement agencies should be consistent with City values,” Chief Danielle Outlaw reportedly said in a statement on Wednesday.
She said that it was a “mistake” that the federal officials had been allowed access to the training grounds.
“A mistake was made due to miscommunication during the contract approval process. When the oversight was brought to our attention, we took immediate action,” Outlaw said.
The groups who fought for the change celebrated the change in policy, issuing a joint statement.
“That the city of Portland, a supposed sanctuary city, took money from ICE and allowed this contract to go into effect is disturbing and wrong,” they said.
Documents show that the Oregon city has already received over $23,000 from the federal government for the training that they received at PPB’s facility over the last year. And the contract would have provided more revenue.
“Public records suggest the contract was to range from $49,500 to $94,500. It’s unclear how the contract payment will be altered in line with the recent development,” Oregon Live reported.
The Portland Democratic Socialists of America routinely participate in anti-ICE rallies, planning to gather once again again in Portland on October 14. Their mission is to “end to all ICE activities,” according to statements from their members.
“We will continue to fight against all ICE contracts in the city and the state, whether they be with private business or public government,” a statement from the group said.
It’s unclear where members of the federal law enforcement agency will have to go to train in the future.
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