Oregon’s Senators Voice Support for Immigrants

February 28, 2018 9:50 am
by David Jakeman

In mid-January, Oregon’s two senators spoke at separate town hall meetings. Although their positions on immigration differed, they were united in their support for giving permanent protections to DACA holders. Portland immigration lawyers have been heartened by their unwavering support.

Service to Country

Senator Ron Wyden spoke at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas. He voted for the 2013 attempt at immigration reform, and he expressed support for the negotiations currently happening. He shared the story of his own parents, refugees from Nazi Germany. Although his father’s attempts to join the US armed forces were initially rejected because of poor physical health, he was eventually allowed to serve and helped write anti-Nazi propaganda. Wyden connected his father’s loyalty to his adopted country to that of the Dreamers. He mentioned that many Dreamers that he has talked to also want to serve their country – in the police force, the armed forces, or in other ways. He added that many of them were model citizens.

The Symbol of Our Country

Senator Jeff Merkley held his town hall meeting at Park Rose High School. Merkley also voted for the foundered immigration legislation of 2013. At the town hall, he said he was hopeful about the direction things were headed, but qualified his statement, saying being optimistic was too strong of a word choice. Merkley mentioned his qualms about funding for the border wall, contrasting it with the Statue of Liberty and asking which of the two structures we would prefer to have as our national symbol. Naturally, he favored the Statue of Liberty.

Both Oregon senators expressed support for creating lasting immigration solutions, and they remained hopeful that something would get done.1 However, in the time since their town hall appearances, very little progress has been made on immigration reform, even as the time crunch tightens. DACA faces a murky deadline of March 5, 2018, and even though a district court ordered the federal government to continue accepting renewals, the uncertainty leaves hundreds of thousands of hard working immigrants in limbo. Portland immigration lawyers can only hope that Congress can hammer out an acceptable compromise.

1 – http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/383923-272722-wyden-merkley-still-back-dreamers

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