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Ruling on Immigrant Measure Gives Oregon Activists Hope

February 5, 2009

Salem, OR – Immigration activists say a judge’s ruling in Columbia County could be the start of much needed reforms across Oregon. At issue is Measure 5-190, which would fine employers in the county who hire undocumented immigrants. County voters approved the measure in November, but Circuit Court judge Ted Grove issued a temporary injunction last month, keeping 5-190 from taking effect.

Francisco Lopez, director of CAUSA Oregon, says the ruling could be the start of a new wave of immigration reform in the state.

"Any type of anti-immigrant measure should be put to an end in Columbia County, it should die there, and not be taken anywhere else in the state."

Lopez says Oregon's immigrants are a vital part of the state's work force, and measures like 5-190 take away state funding already needed for education, health care and other services to low-income Oregonians.

"Economically, this is the worst time to be advocating for anti-immigrant measures."

It is not the role of cities, counties or the state, Lopez says, to enforce federal immigration policies, which he says would add more layers of bureaucracy and spending to local government.

More information is available on the CAUSA Oregon Web site, at

Bruce Kennedy, Public News Service - OR