PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville City Councilors and the Crook County Court meet Tuesday to discuss the region's sanctuary status. Sanctuary jurisdictions don't detain illegal immigrants for the purpose of deportation. It's been a hot topic since the Trump Administration announced plans to crack down on such cities and counties by potentially withdrawing federal funding.
Mayor Betty Roppe says Tuesday's work session was called after a number of questions from the public. "'Are we a sanctuary city?' And, of course, there are some people who want us to be and some people who don't want us to be. So, no, we would not be a sanctuary city. We just don't make a point of - the only reason it would come to their [the federal government's] attention would be if they had broken the law and they were booked." She says she's been told by local law enforcement that state law prohibits police from holding illegal immigrants simply because of their status. They can hold a person for only as long as is warranted by the crime for which they were arrested. However, the agency can notify the feds of the arrest.
Mayor Roppe tells KBND News the joint meeting with Commissioners is only informational. No public comment will be taken, but the public is invited to attend. "Our population seems to be kind of 50/50 as to whether they think they should be protected, or whether they think that they should've never entered this country if they didn't have a legal route to take. So, it would be something that we'd give a significant amount of time to evaluating before we took a stance on that." She adds, "We have had people inquire - In fact, we have had people ask us to pass a resolution as to how 'the city of Prineville welcomes everybody, and blah blah, regardless of status.' But, we are not going to be doing that."
The meeting begins at 5:15 p.m. at Prineville City Hall. Click HERE for details.