Portland police halt ICE agent training at facility

The city prohibits the use of city funds, personnel or equipment to enforce federal immigration law.

  • Wednesday, September 25, 2019 5:03pm
  • Northwest

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Police Bureau has terminated a two-year contract that allowed federal immigration enforcement agents to use the firing range and classroom space at its training center.

The contract was signed in 2018 with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and was expected to run through August 2020, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

On Sept. 19, Portland Deputy Police Chief Jami Resch sent the federal agency a letter, ending that part of the agreement. The decision affects only Homeland Security’s agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Members of the Portland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, a coalition called Close the Concentration Camps, along with Portland City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty challenged the contract, citing the city’s and state’s sanctuary law, which directs police not to help federal agents enforce immigration policies.

“After an internal review, the Portland Police Bureau is no longer allowing use of its Training Division facility by a portion of the United States Department of Homeland Security because the use of the facility must be consistent with the City’s values and Federal, State, and local laws,” the Police Bureau said in a statement Wednesday.

Under a city resolution, the city of Portland prohibits the use of city funds, personnel or equipment to enforce federal immigration law.

“A mistake was made due to miscommunication during the contract approval process. When the oversight was brought to our attention, we took immediate action,” Chief Danielle Outlaw said in the statement.

Portland Democratic Socialists of America participated in the Occupy ICE protests at the federal immigration enforcement headquarters in Portland. The group seeks an “end to all ICE activities” in the city and any contracts between the city and federal immigration enforcement agents.

It called the halting of the training center contract with ICE “a small victory in a much larger battle.”

“We will continue to fight against all ICE contracts in the city and the state, whether they be with private business or public government,” a statement by the groups said.

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