FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michael Cox, 503-823-4046
Mayor Wheeler’s Statement on AG’s Comments and Recent ICE Actions in Portland
PORTLAND, OR – Mayor Ted Wheeler released the following statement on Attorney General Jeff Session’s comments on sanctuary city’s and recent ICE actions in Portland.
“Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions again reiterated the Trump administration’s threat to withhold funding from sanctuary cities. His comments provide barely more information than the already broad statements provided by the president himself. It is unclear whether the AG is referring to future grants, or to funds already provided. Also unclear is his legal ability to withhold funds DOJ funds from states under these conditions. It should be noted that DOJ grants to the City of Portland in our 2015-16 budget totaled just more than $3 million.
“All of this is happening in an environment that contains a lot of heated rhetoric but not a lot of facts. For example, just last week an Oregon Republican Party spokesman said that Portland’s status as a sanctuary city means we are harboring, “criminal illegal aliens who are murdering and raping.” This statement is inaccurate and harmful.
“An ICE arrest in Portland over the weekend demonstrates how wrongheaded this statement truly is. This weekend, ICE arrested Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez, a 25-year-old who has lived in the United States since he was five. Far from being a violent criminal, Francisco is a respected member of the community, a student and a volunteer. This arrest does nothing to promote public safety. Instead, actions like this only serve to tear apart our community and needlessly alter the lives of our residents. The city had no role in this arrest and I am against it.
“Today my administration spoke with both ICE and DOJ about our concern that their actions tremendous damage they are doing to the social, civic, and economic life of our city. The City of Portland, our police bureau, and our employees do not cooperate with ICE. However, ICE has the power to operate within our city, and does not have to inform us of their activities. To learn more about your rights regarding ICE and immigration enforcement, please visit Oregon Immigration Resource here: http://oregonimmigrationresource.org/resources/?tab=deportations-and-ice-activity.”