Oregon PSR opposes Initiative Petition 22 (IP 22), an attempt by the anti-immigrant hate group Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) to repeal our state’s 30-year-old inclusivity law (ORS 181A.820) prohibiting the use of state and local resources to enforce federal immigration law. OFIR is recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a nativist extremist group with ties to white nationalism. If successful, IP 22 would put repealing our 1987 inclusivity law, which is strongly supported by state and local law enforcement, onto Oregon's November 2018 ballot.
IP 22 is presented as a law-and-order measure to require local authorities to assist federal immigration enforcement. The 1987 inclusivity law that IP 22 would repeal was put into place because law enforcement were racially profiling Latinos and conducting raids in their homes, workplaces, and houses of worship. OFIR's main marketing ploy in general and with this bill is that immigration is bad for the environment. There is no factual basis for such a claim.
Why is Oregon PSR is taking a stand on this issue?
In keeping with our social justice values, Oregon PSR is a member of the One Oregon Coalition that defends against anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies and ballot measures and works to ensure that all Oregonians, regardless of country of birth, are treated with dignity and respect. Along with our fellow members of the One Oregon Environmental Committee, we believe that all people, wherever they were born, deserve a healthy environment with clean air, clean water, and a stable climate. We stand with other leading environmental groups in Oregon to make it clear that environmentalism is about both healthy people and places, without exception. As a peace organization, we are called to speak out against a measure that involves racial profiling and scapegoating of a vulnerable population. We know that hateful rhetoric leads to hateful actions, increasing violence and diminishing public health and safety.
In addition, deportation of immigrants presents a many-faceted threat to public health. Deportation and the threat of deportation negatively affect both mental health and access to health care. Children of deportees are at risk of increased health problems due to loss of economic support and familial relationship. The threat of deportation erodes trust in local institutions including law enforcement, which erodes public safety for everyone. Lack of trust in institutions also reduces people’s likelihood to seek timely medical treatments, which can negatively affect the health of all people.
What can I do?
If you are asked to sign an IP 22 petition to get this initiative on the ballot, refuse to sign, and let your friends and family know that they should decline to sign, as well. If this does make it on the ballot, we anticipate that a “no” vote will be in keeping with best practices for public health and safety. Stay tuned for more updates from Oregon PSR and our partners as this campaign unfolds.
Article by Damon Motz-Storey, Program Assistant.