The Portland Police Bureau updated a directive clarifying guidance for police on federal immigration enforcement.
The directive explicitly prohibits cooperation with federal immigration officials in enforcing federal immigration laws. It also bars the use of bureau resources, including equipment and personnel, for federal immigration enforcement.
Revisions were made to the directive Dec. 19. The changes go into effect Jan. 18.
Community members expressed concern in an initial review and public comment period on the directive, saying the bureau’s current policy doesn’t align with the city and the state’s sanctuary status. That status prohibits using local resources to aid federal deportation efforts.
Revisions were made to “more clearly direct members with regard to the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”
In November, an internal investigation into three Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies who helped U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detain and deport six men revealed an institutional lack of direction and policy at the Sheriff’s Office when it came to cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
PPB’s revised directive prohibits any bureau member from interrogating, detaining, arresting, initiating an investigation or taking any official police action against an individual solely based on their national origin or immigration status.
The bureau makes an exception for cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security in “emergency situations and combating a wide array of global criminal threats.” Those include terrorism and human trafficking.
Bureau procedure bars police from even asking about a person’s immigration status unless it’s relevant and unrelated to the enforcement of federal immigration law.
Federal law prohibits Portland Police from withholding information about a person’s citizenship or immigration status. Yet the revised directive does not require Portland Police to share that information with federal immigration law enforcement agencies, even if it involves a person with legal status.
Portland Police are also instructed not to share someone’s personal information — including a person’s address, place of employment or contact information — with federal immigration authorities for the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Immigration officials could request the Bureau’s assistance for pre-planned missions, though the extent of PPB’s cooperation would be limited to something like traffic control.