Voting NO on Measure 105 is an opportunity to join with other progressive organizations and manifest our commitment to a community that is inclusive—to walk our talk on diversity, equity and inclusion. Other conservation organizations working on this issue include the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Oregon Environmental Council, Climate Solutions, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.
The board resolution allows Portland Audubon to work independently and within the One Oregon Coalition to oppose Measure 105. Portland Audubon joined the One Oregon Coalition in early 2017. The statewide coalition’s mission is to “defend against anti-immigration and anti-Muslim policies and ballot measures and works to ensure that all Oregonians, regardless of country of birth, are treated with dignity and respect.”
It is particularly important for Conservation organizations to speak out as some of the rhetoric supporting anti-immigrant policies has wrapped itself in the language of sustainability and environmentalism. It is also important for conservation groups to speak out as the preeminent conservation issue of our generation, global climate change, will likely cause unprecedented displacement of human populations. An equitable and effective climate change strategy is inextricably linked to immigration policy. At a time when Portland Audubon has elevated both climate change and diversity, equity and inclusion as two of our highest priorities, Measure 105 represents a threat to both initiatives.
As our Executive Director Nick Hardigg, described it, “Portland Audubon can’t allow this extreme, fear-mongering group to suggest that it’s in any way aligned with conservation. We work to protect the Earth for the health and benefit of all people.” We have long recognized that an effective environmental movement must be able to effectively intersect with other progressive and social justice movements. It was in that spirit that we recently joined One Oregon. Opposing Measure 105 will send a strong message to staff, members, community partners, and the community at large about Portland Audubon’s values and its commitment to protecting and respecting the basic dignity of all members of our community.
Finally, Portland Audubon recognizes the importance of diversifying our base within Oregon, strengthening the depth and breadth of our understanding of environmental issues.
History of Measure 105
What started as an initiative petition, IP22 is now Measure 105 on November’s ballot. Measure 105 would repeal Oregon’s 30-year-old sanctuary law, which was passed to stop the practice of profiling immigrants by local law enforcement. The Measure was initiated by two Salem legislators, Representative Sal Esquivel (R-Medford) and Representative Mike Nearman (R-Independence). After failing to pass similar legislation through the Legislature, they have moved this effort to the ballot initiative system. The measure is also backed by Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) which uses environmental rhetoric to promote an aggressive anti-immigration position. If passed, Measure 105 would allow the use of local and state resources to enforce immigration law if a person’s only crime is being in the country illegally.
Measure 105 represents a significant threat to Oregon’s immigrant communities and to our state’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It comes at a time when hostility toward immigrant communities and people of color has been gaining ground at both state and national levels. The chief proponents of Measure 105, Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), have cloaked their fearful rhetoric within the wings of the conservation movement—choosing a tree as their logo, and writing Op-Eds about how immigrants are destroying the environment.
- More on Oregon’s Sanctuary Law
- IP22 and OFIR One Pager
- Environment and the Anti-Immigrant Movement in Oregon 1 pager
- Take Action! Sign the Pledge to Vote Against IP22
- Oregonians Against Racial Profiling
- Over 80+ groups apart of coalition
- OFIR Listed on Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Nativist extremist organization” list