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Sheriff Staton fails to end deportations in Multnomah County

On Monday, December 10th, various organizations from the ACT for Justice and Dignity network held a rally and press conference to call on Multnomah County Sheriff Daniel Staton to stop honoring Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds. ICE holds and deportations are responsible for separating families and causing local and state governments to pay the cost for federal immigration enforcement. Local organizations have been working for years to stop the Multnomah County Sheriff from deporting people in our communities. After the meeting with organizers, Sheriff Staton said that he would announce his decision the following Monday at 3pm.
Today activists returned to 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. to show their ongoing support towards ending collaborations between the Multnomah County Sheriff and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Earlier in the day, a group that included Commissioner Amanda Fritz had met with Sheriff Staton and expected a follow-up response at 3pm. A number of people gathered on the ground floor where the Portland Radical Choir sang revised Christmas carols, harmoniously calling for an end to deportations. At 3pm the group went up to Sheriff Staton's office, crowding the lobby and spilling into the hallway. The sheriff
was a no-show at press time, opting instead to send two representatives, one of whom remarked (emphasis mine):


"He (Sheriff Staton) feels like for today he's made his statements and received your information," adding "He has more information to consider now."


Not at all satisfied with his I-don't-feel-like-it-attitude, members of the crowd insisted that Sheriff Staton come out to speak to them directly, and the Radical Choir kept everyone entertained as his representatives were sent to try and summon him from his office. The sheriff still refused to show and it was clear that he had no interest in addressing the community, even though he had confirmed that he would during the previous meeting. The representatives took comments from the crowd which they said would be relayed to the sheriff, even though neither of the men wrote any of them down, and many people voiced their extreme disappointment in the sheriff and his unwillingness to appear in person.
Even though Sheriff Daniel Staton has failed to make any progress on this issue, activists are not deterred by his disinterest in ending his collaboration with ICE. People should be reminded that the sheriff is an elected official, and that there are other ways to increase the pressure, such as continuing to speak to the Multnomah Board of County Commissioners. It was clear that Sheriff Staton has little respect for the community's time and even less respect for the issues that are important to them. One woman stated:


"If we are going to have dialogue, it needs to be directly with the sheriff."

3 min video I found 12.17.12 18.Dec.2012 14:16

Listening Larry

 http://youtu.be/KlMT8cnJQFI

A no show by Staton - Sheriff makes no public decision (yet)

Video: No Show - another video from 12.17.12 18.Dec.2012 14:22

Listening Larry

No Response & No Show From Sheriff Staton On Mondays Rally -

Mobile T Report-Back Five Minute Video Clip:

 http://youtu.be/6OI0qM-CggY

More Photos of Resistance 18.Dec.2012 14:32

NevadoZ Nevadozee@gmail.com

Tell us how you really feel.
Yep.
Yep.

Sheriff sends letter on Thursday 20.Dec.2012 17:07

Listening Larry (re post of Email letter)

From: STATON Daniel W < daniel.staton@mcso.us>
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 1:46 PM
Subject: Sheriff Staton statement regarding Multco Informational Session on
Immigration Issues

December 20, 2012

I want to extend my thanks to all of you for our productive meeting on
December 17 regarding federal immigration regulations and how they are
implemented in Multnomah County. It was good to hear a number of
perspectives on these issues, and their effect on our community. The
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office is aware of federal immigration law and
its impact on our local community, and our Office has been meeting with
concerned members of our community, providing information regarding local
law enforcement responsibilities and actions, and hearing input about
policies regarding these specific issues for over 36 months. In that time
we have consistently evaluated our practices through rigorous legal and
statistical review, and maintained an open dialogue with concerned citizen
groups. Recently, some of this dialogue has taken the form of protest
against the policies of both the federal government and the Multnomah
County Sheriff's Office, and demands for me, personally, to put limits on
the use of, or to entirely stop the compliance with, immigration holds in
our jail.

Having considered these matters at length, and having most recently
conferred with my legal counsel, the Office of the Chief Counsel for ICE
and the US Attorney's Office for the district of Oregon, I have been
informed that the Federal regulation as it stands today does not give me
any discretion in deciding whether or not to comply with immigration, or
ICE, holds. The regulation as written is mandatory, and despite
disagreement from some members of the community I must follow the law and
comply with immigration holds as prescribed by federal regulation. I was
not elected to interpret the law, I was elected to enforce the law,
whether the law is popular or not, or whether I personally agree with it.

You have my commitment that I will continue to assess these laws as they
are discharged in our local communities, and will respond appropriately in
the event that federal law or regulations are changed, or if I am directed
by the court to discontinue or suspend our current practices. I will also
remain involved in dialogue and work to problem solve wherever possible.
At this time, however, I must remain faithful to the oath I took as
Sheriff of this county to uphold the law in all matters.

Thank you.
Sheriff Staton

[Sheriff Staton sent the below email to members of City Council, the County
Commission, a few civil liberties groups, and Lars Larson.
(no other media was apparently notified.) Some of you may have
seen that one of his undersheriffs attended an immigration border
"training" in Texas earlier this year:
 link to www.wweek.com
to which the Sheriff deflected criticism by saying:
"I want to be clear that Undersheriff Moore, nor I, nor the Multnomah
County Sheriff's Office are members of or affiliated with either the
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) or Oregonians for
Immigration Reform (OFIR).]

Video montage 20.Dec.2012 18:06

Joe Anybody

 http://youtu.be/_CFxw_9EhbA
17 minute video montage from 2 clips of the sheriff dodging questions

re-post from e-mail 09.Jan.2013 16:45

Listening Larry (re post of Email letter)

Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Brown < rebrown47@gmail.com>
Subject: Sign-on to Press Release in response to sheriff by Jan 11th
Date: January 9, 2013 12:12:48 AM PST
To: ACT for Justice and Dignity < safe-communities-project@googlegroups.com>
Cc: Robert Brown < rebrown47@gmail.com>

ACT Members and Supporters:

On December 20th, Sheriff Staton issued a statement saying that he must comply with ICE Hold Requests - that he has no choice. This is because Department of Homeland Security lawyers from, ICE and Enforcement Removal Operation (ERO) informed him that he ICE Hold requests are mandatory. In fact DHS "threatened" the sheriff's office: if his office did not comply with ICE Hold requests, the sheriff's department may lose federal grants. Members of the ACT Strategy Team disagree with this, as do many others across the country including the California Attorney General that assert that ICE Hold requests are just that - requests and law enforcement agencies can use their own discretion to comply or not with the request. And we feel we must publicly respond to the community to the sheriff's statement.

Attached to this email is a press release that will be to released to the media, the county commissioners and others in response to the sheriff's statement.

As members of the ACT Network, we are requesting your organization or faith community sign on to this letter . Please review this press release and respond with your organization's endorsement by Friday, January 11th. Send your endorsement response to me at  rebrown47@gmail.com. We will release this early next week.
Contact me if you have any questions.

And here is the text of the Sheriff's December 20th statement:

The Multnomah County Sheriff&#65533;s Office is aware of federal immigration law and its impact on our
local community, and our Office has been meeting with concerned members of our community,
providing information regarding local law enforcement responsibilities and actions, and hearing
input about policies regarding these specific issues for over 36 months. In that time we have
consistently evaluated our practices through rigorous legal and statistical review, and maintained
an open dialogue with concerned citizen groups. Recently, some of this dialogue has taken the
form of protest against the policies of both the federal government and the Multnomah County
Sheriff&#65533;s Office, and demands for me, personally, to put limits on the use of, or to entirely stop the
compliance with, immigration holds in our jail.

Having considered these matters at length, and having most recently conferred with my legal
counsel, the Office of the Chief Counsel for ICE and the US Attorney&#65533;s Office for the district of
Oregon, I have been informed that the Federal regulation as it stands today does not give me any
discretion in deciding whether or not to comply with immigration, or ICE, holds. The regulation as
written is mandatory, and despite disagreement from some members of the community I must
follow the law and comply with immigration holds as prescribed by federal regulation. I was not
elected to interpret the law, I was elected to enforce the law, whether the law is popular or not, or
whether I personally agree with it.

You have my commitment that I will continue to assess these laws as they are discharged in our
local communities, and will respond appropriately in the event that federal law or regulations are
changed, or if I am directed by the court to discontinue or suspend our current practices. I will also
remain involved in dialogue and work to problem solve wherever possible. At this time, however, I
must remain faithful to the oath I took as Sheriff of this county to uphold the law in all matters.
Thank you.

===========
PDF file attached as a download is also copied below:

For Immediate Release (Fung
January XX, 2013 Zi
Contact: Bob Brown rebrown47@gmai|.com, 503-244-3304
ar m .t lm
PRESS RELEASE
IN RESPONSE TO MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF

We Protest: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Must Put Community Safety
First and Not Comply with ICE "Hold Requests"
Faith and labor groups, immigrant and civil rights groups join together in opposition to a
December 20, 2012 statement by Multnomah County Sheriff' s office. In this statement, Sheriff
Dan Staton says that his hands are tied and he has no discretion "in deciding whether or not to
comply with immigration, or ICE, holds. The regulation as written is mandatory .... "

At issue is whether the Multnomah County jail officials must comply with a request by the
federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold people so that ICE can take custody of
these individuals regardless of whether there are pending criminals charges. A central concern of
community groups that are opposed to enforcement of ICE holds is that the threat of this action
inhibits people from cooperating with local law enforcement. People fear any contact with the
police, even if they have been the victim of a crime.

Other jurisdictions across the country have policies that allow local law enforcement the
discretion of enforcing the immigration holds from ICE. In California, Governor Brown has
stated that he believes federal immigration agents should not "coerce" local agencies into
detaining people. And California Attorney General Kamala Harris as publicly stated "The federal
government cannot mandate that these chiefs and sheriffs hold onto immigrants because of the
request for detainer. The police chiefs and sheriffs have it within their discretion within their
authority to honor that request or not."

In California, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Los Angeles counties have decided that the safety
of their community trumps the requests from immigration authorities to hold people so they can
be deported. Across the country, in places like New York City, Cook County (Illinois), Taos
(New Mexico) and Washington DC, localities have enacted policies to limit the use of ICE
holds in their jails.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security memos also
clarify that ICE Holds are optional: ICE Assistant Director David Venturella stated that hold
requests are optional} And DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Briefing Video on
"How to Respond to an Immigration Detainer" (2012) at states that "the immigration detainer is
a formal request to temporarily detain . . . aliens . . .")2. In answer to the question "Is an ICE
detainer a request or a requirement?" The answer: "It is a request. There is no penalty if they
[local law enforcement] don't comply."3

1  http://media.sjbeez.org/files/201 1/10/4-ICE-response-to-SCCpdf (page 11).
2  http://www.ice. gov/news/ galleries/videos/ immigration detainershtm
3 ICE Q&A (Jan. 26, 2011), ICE FOIA 2674.017695, http;//altopolimigra.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ICE-
FOIA-2674.017695.pdf

Given that other jurisdictions have agreed to put community safety before requests from ICE,
community groups in Multnomah County question why the Sheriff' s office believes what our
local ICE officials say is "the law." It should be in our local law enforcement's interest to put
community safety first and not comply with the ICE hold requests.

"We will continue to push for a change in policy using all resources at our disposal," pledges
Bob Brown, speaking for local faith groups and several member organizations of the ACT
Network for Justice and Dignity.
###
press release
press release