This is a story which has been percolating for the better part of a year, but is finally reaching a resolution. Out in the Portland, Oregon area, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s department has been investigating a number of their deputies for alleged misbehavior last winter. That investigation has now come to an end and the deputies have been cleared.
But what were they charged with in the first place? They answered requests from ICE agents for information about the location of illegal aliens who were being sought for deportation. (Oregon Live)
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office cleared deputies of violating internal policies by tipping off immigration officials.
Multnomah County released a statement Friday saying the Sheriff’s Office’s investigation revealed that the deputies didn’t intentionally break Sheriff Mike Reese’s protocols around enforcing federal immigration law. Reese has directed all staff to not release any more information than is given to the general public or provide special access to immigration authorities if contacted by them, according to a staff memo obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Any requests for more information or access should be routed to the sheriff’s records division, the memo said.
Well, I suppose it’s nice that the deputies won’t be losing their jobs over charges of doing their jobs. To fully understand the insanity of this investigation, we need to go back to the origins of the case. It cropped up back in February of this year and it all centers around Sheriff Mike Reese. He’s been, shall we say… rather enthusiastic in his defense of sanctuary city policies in his county. And when the local press turned up some emails indicating that deputies had responded to requests for information from immigration officials, Reese flew into action. (Portland Tribune)
The Multnomah County Sheriff Office will review new evidence of local deputies helping federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials deport undocumented immigrants.
The review was sparked by a Portland Tribune records request of emails that turned up several instances in which sheriff’s deputies shared information with federal immigration officers.
Sheriff Mike Reese says he’s bearing down to ensure deputies follow the law. In response to the emails, he’s had a captain meet with the deputies in question to emphasize the ban on helping Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (known as ICE) deport people who have not been convicted of a crime, adding that the emails would be reviewed by internal affairs for potential investigation.
So what sort of illegal aliens are we talking about? Apparently, some of them didn’t have any other “serious” charges against them. But in at least one case, that of Julio Montejo-Mex, the suspect had been charged with, “domestic violence crimes, including assault, strangulation and kidnapping.” And the Sheriff was upset that deputies gave some information on this guy to ICE?
Excuse me, but even if you are the most open borders loving, Trump hating activist on the planet, aren’t those precisely the type of people we’re supposed to prioritize for detention and/or deportation?
As I mentioned above, the person at the center of this maelstrom is the Sheriff. Mike Reese was appointed as interim Sheriff in August of 2016 after his predecessor retired amid claims of excessive use of force in the jail and other questions. His selection was viewed as a backlash against perceived “anti-immigrant” policies because he was such a vocal supporter of sanctuary city proposals. Now he’s filed to run for another term.
Reese has made sure to keep his name in the news, both locally and nationally. He’s taken to his Twitter account and given interviews where he “takes on” Jeff Sessions over calls for more local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration officials. All of that is just politics and it apparently works well enough in his county. But launching a months-long investigation into the performance of his own deputies because they answered an email from ICE about where to find some suspects?
We’ve truly slipped down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, over the rainbow or something similar here. I’m sure you can find some of your officers who are guilty of actual wrongdoing to investigate rather than bringing down the hammer on the ones who are actually helping to enforce the law.