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Bonamici Introduces Legislation to Block ICE Enforcement In Sensitive Locations

March 31, 2017
Press Release

PORTLAND, OR [03/31/2017] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, Multnomah County Judge Nan Waller, immigration advocates, and community leaders held a roundtable discussion about legislation that will allow immigrants and members of the community to access sensitive locations, such as schools, health clinics, and courthouses, without threat of arrest by ICE agents. Bonamici and Blumenauer introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

“Our communities are better and safer if all residents feel secure when accessing justice, seeking education and health care, or practicing their faith,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Recent ICE action targeting immigrants has been aggressive and mean-spirited, and it does not improve the safety of our communities. The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act will keep ICE out of sensitive locations and make sure immigrant families can take their kids to school, go to worship, or seek protective orders and police assistance. This legislation is desperately needed.”

“It’s outrageous that ICE is targeting people leaving church or taking their children to school. People are living in fear and being forced into the shadows,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “We’re going to fight to make sure our churches, schools, and courthouses remain safe, welcoming spaces for all members of our community.”

"ICE arrests in our community and near our Courthouses have had a devastating impact on children, families and the pursuit of justice,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “These dramatic detentions don’t make us safer, they incite panic. Women courageous enough to talk to a domestic violence advocate are now too fearful to leave their homes to get a restraining order.  Think about it. Women are now more afraid of our federal government than the person who is abusing them."

“This nation is in a crisis,” said Pastor Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland. “Twelve million of our beautiful family members, neighbors, friends, congregants, co-workers, classmates are living in fear. The increased activity of ICE with no apparent boundaries is causing chaos in our communities and traditionally sacred places of sanctuary. We applaud the legislation that Congresswoman Bonamici has crafted, and as faith communities, regardless of the outcome we shall not be moved in standing with our immigrant sisters and brothers until all are free in this land.”

The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act will prohibit immigration enforcement, including arrests, interviews, searches, and surveillance at "sensitive locations," which includes medical or health care facilities, public and private schools, places of worship, courthouses, DMV offices, and locations that provide emergency services.

You can read a summary of the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act here.

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