Rural communities and human dignity leaders have organized for decades to build safe and welcoming communities for all. We won a huge victory in 2021 when we passed the Sanctuary Promise Act (SPA) through the Oregon legislature to expand our decades-old Sanctuary Law.
Oregon now has the strongest sanctuary policies in the entire country. They bar government and law enforcement agencies from assisting federal immigration enforcement without a warrant from a judge.
Now that this law is passed, it’s up to each and every one of us to make sure it is fully implemented in every town, in every county of the state. ROP and Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) are suing the Cottage Grove Police Department for continuing to collaborate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We’ve also been hearing about detentions in Tillamook County, Washington County, and beyond. This makes us wonder: where else is this happening, and what other departments are violating the SPA?
Through conversations with dozens of local leaders, we put this tool together to support human dignity groups in organizing to make the promise of sanctuary a reality in Oregon. If you’re interested in talking with your group about the Sanctuary Promise Act and how to help make sure the law is implemented, here’s what an agenda for your next group meeting could look like!
Sample Meeting Agenda: Creating a SPA Action Plan
- Review what the Sanctuary Promise Act (SPA) is and how we got here. Share the message above, or print out this December ROPnet for the longer story.
- Discuss how we can make sure the SPA is having the intended effect of keeping families together and preventing federal immigration authorities from taking much-needed local resources away from local agencies.
- Local violations: Does anyone know of detentions that have happened locally? If so, have those been reported to ROP and the new Department of Justice Sanctuary Promise Hotline? If not, are there other folks in the community who might know what happened?
- Law enforcement policies: What are your local law enforcement’s policies about collaborating with federal immigration enforcement? If you don’t know what their policies are, how can you find out? Will they give you a copy of the policies, so they can be reviewed for compliance? ROP can support you in looking over the policies and figuring out whether they comply with the SPA!
- Spread the word: How can we make sure that the rest of the community knows about the Sanctuary Promise Act so we can all be a part of putting it into action?
- Make an action plan. Check out this evolving list of ways to get involved!
- Meet with law enforcement: Does your group want to schedule a meeting with local law enforcement to ask them about their policies, let them know you expect them to follow the new requirements, and/or share the potential for legal action if they do not? Check out this tool about meeting with local law enforcement! You can also print out this SPA Explainer that’s for local law enforcement to bring with you to the meeting.
- Get the word out: Do you want to make sure the rest of the community knows about the Sanctuary Promise Act and let your local officials know you are paying attention?
- Submit letters to the editor to your local newspaper. Local officials definitely read local letters to the editor and take note of the issues folks are engaged in. Here is a guide for how to write a Letter to the Editor, along with a sample letter to get you started. The guide is also available in Spanish.
- Distribute Sanctuary Promise Hotline flyers: You can print out these hotline flyers in English and Spanish and put them around town to share information with your neighbors about the Sanctuary Promise Hotline and where they can report potential Sanctuary Promise Act violations. People impacted by violations can receive support (including up to $1,000) and be connected to other resources.
- Host a know-your-rights training: The Oregon Department of Justice can lead trainings on the Sanctuary Promise Act, and ROP is also working on a curriculum focused on reaching Mam community members who we’ve seen targeted at higher rates than other immigrant communities. If your group wants to host a training, let’s talk! Reach out to your local organizer or email Sidra at email@example.com.
- Broadcast on local radio: Your local community radio station may be interested in covering how law enforcement compliance or noncompliance with the SPA impacts your community. Reach out to them to broadcast an interview with the sheriff, information about the hotline, or other SPA-related content. Specific tools coming soon! Are you a community radio station? Email Sidra at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in collaborating!
Call your ROP organizer and let us know what you are working on, how it’s going, and what support you need. Did you meet with law enforcement? Send letters to the editor? Put out flyers? Are there other tools or more information you need to be successful? Reach out to your local organizer or email Sidra at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you