Posted on July 18, 2018

Proposed Repeal of Oregon ‘Sanctuary’ Law Qualifies for November Ballot

Saul Hubbard, Register-Guard, July 17, 2018

An effort to repeal Oregon’s “sanctuary” law has qualified for the Nov. 6 ballot, the state Elections Division announced Tuesday.

Initiative Petition 22 ended up with easily enough valid signatures to go to voters, thanks to an 86.2 percent verification rate. That rate meant the measure cleared the required threshold of 88,184 valid signatures by roughly 7,500 signatures.

That tees up a divisive fight over immigration in Oregon in coming months and a potential test case for so-called “sanctuary” laws around the country. Those laws prohibit local and state law enforcement agencies from assisting federal immigration agents and are on the books primarily in liberal cities and counties around the country.


Oregon, which enacted the first statewide sanctuary law in 1987, likely will be the only state voting on the issue this year, after a repeal effort in California failed to qualify for the ballot.

Supporters of IP 22 say the “sanctuary” law shields illegal immigrants who have committed crimes from potential deportation. For example, local jails cannot hold people wanted by federal immigration officials if they’re due to be released from custody.


The campaign for the repeal is led by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, a grass-roots group that led a successful referendum in 2014 to deny short-term drivers’ licenses to undocumented immigrants. They’ve received almost $183,000 in funding from a hard-line national anti-immigration group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, this cycle to pay for signature gatherers and advertising.