Oregon governor takes action in response to Trump immigration order

SALEM, Ore. - Governor Kate Brown said she's taking steps to "reaffirm Oregon's commitment" to protecting all citizens by calling on Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to legally challenge the recent immigration order by the Trump Administration.

The governor opened her remarks by invoking the memory of Minoru Yasui, the first Japanese-American graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law and the first Japanese-American admitted to the Oregon State Bar.

After Pearl Harbor, the Hood River native challenged the constitutionality of a nighttime curfew imposed on citizens of Japanese ancestry. He was arrested and later sent to a relocation center.

He later practiced law and fought for civil rights after the war.

Yasui died in 1986.

But in 2015, President Obama posthumously awarded him the Congressional Medal of Freedom, the only Oregonian to ever receive that honor, Brown said.

Brown also cited the case of an Iranian infant in need of heart surgery.

"I am just hearing reports that an infant from Iran in desperate need of life-saving surgery at OHSU was prevented from entering our country," Brown said. "This is absolutely outrageous and unacceptable."

Brown signed an executive order that:

  • Instructs state employees to perform everyday duties while staying mindful of Oregon's welcoming and inclusive position toward all, including immigrants and refugees.
  • Requires state agencies to not discriminate on the basis of immigrant status.
  • Broadens Oregon's 1987 state statute that prohibits law enforcement agencies from treating undocumented Oregonians as criminals. Now, all state agencies, not just law enforcement, must follow this rule.
  • Forbids state agencies from participating in the creation of a "registry" to identify people based on religion.

"We've heard about the possibility of a Muslim registry at the federal level. We are not certain how sincere these rumors are, but we will not participate," Brown said.

President Trump has said that federal funding will be cut to “sanctuary cities” that choose to shelter immigrants that are illegally in the U.S.

The governor said her new order does comply with state and federal law, which should not jeopardize state resources. When asked if she was willin gto risk that funding, Brown responded by saying "I am willing to do what's right to make sure we protect Oregonians, we protect our culture, and we protect our economy."

“While Oregon competes in a global economy, we face an uncertain future and threats from an administration willing to cut funding that sustains economic growth and supports critical services for Oregonians,” Brown said. "I am deeply disturbed by all of this, we should all be deeply disturbed."

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