Portland Mayor Backs President's Immigration Reform

OPB | Jan. 29, 2013 2:49 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 30, 2013 6:42 a.m.

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President Obama unveiled some specifics today about his plan to overhaul immigration policy. In Portland,  Mayor Charlie Hales addressed the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, saying that he agrees with the president’s proposals.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Sloan Chambers / OPB

This was Hales’ first time as mayor to address the organization of Latino business men and women. He told the group that he agrees with national reforms that would allow undocumented residents a path to citizenship and to attend college affordably. 

Hales said city policy will de-emphasize immigration violations.

“We’re going to focus Portland Police Bureau on local public safety needs, not on immigration enforcement,” he said. “We want to make Portland a safe city with a climate of trust between our officers and our residents. This will not be accomplished, in my opinion, by being a local reserve force for misguided federal policy.” 

Hales also says he’ll focus on creating a more diverse city workforce.  He says that includes recruiting for more Latino police officers.

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