Oregon Sanctuary Repeal Qualifies For November Ballot

By Shari Rendall | July 20, 2018
On July 17, less than two weeks after Oregonians For Immigration Reform (OFIR) turned in 110,445 signatures supporting Initiative Petition (IP) 22—to put repeal of the state’s 30-year-old sanctuary law on the November 2018 ballot—the Oregon Secretary of State’s office validated 97,762 of them. This is 9,578 more than the 88,184 needed to qualify the initiative. Thirty years after becoming the first sanctuary state in the nation, Oregon votes will have a chance to make it the first ex-sanctuary state.

OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll praised the “hundreds of grassroots Oregonians [who] worked to gather the signatures of tens of thousands of voters … eager to end Oregon's sanctuary policy and see their state do its part to combat, not promote, illegal immigration." OFIR member Jim Ludwick added, “[w]hen you set up a policy that rewards people for not reporting other criminals, you only encourage more criminality ... Why would anybody want a person living in their community who is afraid to turn in another criminal?" Both Oregon and national media noted OFIR’s success with Measure 88 in 2014, which would have allowed illegal aliens the get drivers’ licenses. More than 65 percent of Oregonians voted against that.

Elected officials reacted swiftly to the news that IP 22 had qualified and lined up on both sides, with Representative Bill Post (R-Keizer) joining in praise of “the tens of thousands who signed the petition,” while State Treasurer Tobias Read (D) tweeted “[h]ere we go. Let’s stand with our immigrant neighbors this fall and defeat this ballot measure.”

Open-borders supporters responded with overblown outrage and rhetorical hysteria, saying things like how “this bill will hurt our community,” and that illegal aliens “shouldn’t have to live in fear.” Over the course of the signature-gathering campaign, the new political action committee “Oregonians United Against Profiling” popped up to oppose the initiative and can be expected to spearhead calls to vote against it. Other prominent opponents include social-justice organizations like Causa Oregon and the Oregon Center for Public Policy, corporate cheap-labor beneficiaries such as Nike and Columbia Sportswear, and sanctuary proponents among local law enforcement, most notably Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese (D).

Making it onto the ballot was the first hurdle, but winning in November is on the horizon. The opposition will fight tooth and nail, but OFIR has proven they can and will as well. Oregon now stands a good chance of becoming the first state to leave its dangerous sanctuary policies behind.