Portland DSA Open Letter to Portland City Council Regarding ICE

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Illustration by Paolo Pedercini.

To Mayor Wheeler and the members of Portland City Council:

In light of recent escalation of brutal tactics employed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which includes separating children and babies from their parents who are seeking asylum and holding them captive in internment camps nationwide, Portland Democratic Socialists of America demand that the City of Portland take immediate action in response to the following demands:

We demand that the city of Portland actually live up to its promises and be an authentic sanctuary city. This includes adopting the recommendations of the Sanctuary City Task Force, which recommended the establishment of an Office of Immigrant Rights, and fully funding legal defense services. Because Commissioner Eudaly was a lead supporter of this initiative, we are hopeful that she’ll champion the fulfillment of the demands in this letter.

We demand that the city of Portland withdraw from the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a member of the JTTF, meaning Portland’s pledge to be a Sanctuary City is threatened by PPB officers participating in the Task Force.

Portland was not part of the Task Force from 2005–2011 based on the inability of the Police Chief and Police Commissioner to have the same “Top Secret” clearance as the officers they oversee. That issue has not changed.

President Trump has made it clear he plans to target people based on their religion (Muslims), national origin (immigrants), and political beliefs (protestors). Any JTTF activity along these lines would violate not only ORS 181A.250 but would also be in apparent violation of Oregon House Bill 2002 restrictions against profiling. The city of Portland cannot participate in the JTTF and call itself a ‘Sanctuary City’.

We demand that Portland Police allocate zero resources for the eviction of Occupy ICE PDX. Portland Police should play no part in arresting Portland residents standing up to the Trump regime. Mayor Wheeler directly oversees the Portland Police, and he is thus responsible for whatever actions the Portland Police take in furthering Trump’s agenda.

We demand that Portland cease all cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security in surveilling and arresting activists protesting ICE’s presence in Portland. A true sanctuary city means no cooperation whatsoever with Trump’s oppressive ICE and FBI agencies. Unless Portland City Council takes immediate action to protect vulnerable members of our community from the Trump regime, it will be culpable in any further harm inflicted by ICE and the FBI.

The Portland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Hailing from all corners of the socialist left, our goal is a better world beyond capitalism.

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