Local Labor Leaders Show Support for Portland Mayor’s Sanctuary City Actions

On the morning of August 2, 2018 a letter written by Portland Jobs with Justice, and signed by a dozen local labor leaders was delivered to the office of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. The letter is in support of Mayor Wheeler’s actions keeping Portland’s law enforcement resources from being used to assist ICE in policing first amendment protests that took place last month at the Portland ICE office against the federal administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy and the detention of immigrant children. The letter from labor leaders was prompted by Mayor Wheeler’s receipt of a letter from ICE that was critical of the mayor’s decision and actions.

1500 NE Irving St. Suite 585 Portland, OR 97232
503.236.5573  | http://www.jwjpdx.org

August 2, 2018

Dear Mayor Wheeler,

We are leaders of local labor unions and labor organizations representing thousands of Portland area workers. We write in full support of your actions keeping Portland’s law enforcement resources from being used to assist the federal government’s Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  We are proud to live in a state and community that uphold sanctuary policies that keep federal government enforcement of immigration policy separate from local law enforcement.

We have been dismayed to see the rhetoric and actions from federal officials threatening local officials and governments that challenge misguided immigration policies.  We believe that our community is safer and more secure when local law enforcement is not pulled in to actions supporting federal immigration policies that tear apart working families in our community.   

We recognize that maintaining Oregon and Portland’s sanctuary policies can lead to tough decisions for elected leaders and we are aware of the threatening letter your office received recently from a lawyer for a union representing ICE employees.  We want you to know that you have our support in your efforts to keep our community resources, including police resources, from engaging in federal enforcement of immigration policy.


Will Layng, Executive Director, Portland Jobs With Justice
Matt Hilton, President, AFSCME Local 328
Rob Martineau, President, AFSCME Local 189
Sandra Amolo, Interim Executive Director, Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project
Suzanne Cohen, President, Portland Association of Teachers
Meg Niemi, President, SEIU Local 49
John Larson, President, Oregon Education Association
Jim Fotter, Executive Director, Oregon Education Association
Elizabeth Goetzinger, President, AFSCME Local 3580
Paul Cone, President, Professional and Technical Employees Local 17, Portland Chapter
Reyna Lopez, Executive Director, PCUN Oregon’s Farmworker Union
Steve Demarest, President, SEIU Local 503

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