Posted on November 7, 2018

Oregon Voters Keep First-in-Nation Immigrant Sanctuary Law

Gillian Flaccus, AP, November 7, 2018

Oregon voters weren’t afraid to say no this election as they weighed in on an array of hot-button social issues from abortion to immigration to taxes.

Ballot measures to repeal the state’s first-in-the nation immigrant sanctuary law, prohibit state funding of abortions and add a ban on future grocery taxes all failed at the polls Tuesday.


The measure to repeal Oregon’s 31-year-old sanctuary law came against a backdrop of growing national anxiety over immigration.

Oregon adopted a law in 1987 preventing law enforcement from detaining people who are in the U.S. illegally but have not broken other laws.


The proposal to repeal the so-called “sanctuary law” was the most controversial of several measures on the Oregon ballot — something that was not the case when it was written.

Rocky Barilla, who wrote the sanctuary state bill and was Oregon’s first elected Latino legislator, said late Tuesday he was relieved to hear the measure had failed.