U.S. Attorney Statement on Justice Department Sanctuary Jurisdiction Legal Action
PORTLAND, Ore.—Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, provides the below statement on the sanctuary jurisdiction legal action announced today by Attorney General William P. Barr.
“Today, Attorney General Barr announced new legal actions in several states being taken by the Justice Department to address sanctuary jurisdictions. I share the Attorney General’s belief that sanctuary status declarations directly contravene federal immigration law and threaten public safety. In our country, the Congress makes immigration law and has directed federal authorities to enforce it. The notion that states and other jurisdictions can interfere in the sharing of critical public safety information involving criminal conduct ignores the supremacy of federal law. Each year, many preventable crimes are committed when jurisdictions refuse to cooperate with lawful federal immigration enforcement activities.
Oregon sheriffs and other law enforcement officers are caught in the middle of a highly politicized local and national debate over these policies. Many are left to choose whether to violate state or federal law. This is an untenable position for the men and women who work tirelessly to protect our communities. Since 2015, we have worked with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners here in Oregon to cure this impasse. Our work will continue tomorrow when we will again convene a large group of law enforcement partners to discuss these new lawsuits and other related issues.”