Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the US Attorney General, came to Portland to wag his finger at what appears to be a roomful of white people (judging from video), and explain how undocumented immigrants are going to kill them. He was forced to work some magic with statistics to make his case.
Why he was in Portland: Sessions is trying to bolster Trump's white nationalist, anti-immigrant policies by falsely tying undocumented immigrants to violent crimes.
Sanctuary state: Portland is a sanctuary city as of March, but Oregon actually became the first sanctuary state in 1987. ICE pressures local law enforcement to hold people with uncertain immigration status indefinitely, sanctuary jurisdictions do not comply or enforce federal immigration law.
Between 2013 and 2015, the city saw an increase in homicides of more than 140 percent.
Pretty alarming, right?
Umm, but what about...? Did you notice the year he left out? How about 2016! That's because the total number of murders actually dropped from 2015 (36 homicides) to 2016 (20 homicides). It's rather inconvenient when the facts don't match your narrative, so Sessions gave them a bit of a massage. Trump follows the same path on this issue.
None of the 2016 homicides were gang-related or by undocumented immigrants. One murder did involve gang members, but the shooting was a personal dispute, not based on gang affiliation.
The Portland murder rate is up slightly this year from last, but... two victims were killed in a hate crime by a white supremacist. If you remove those killings from the statistics, the increase so far from this point in 2016 is two -- 10 homicides up to 12 in the first eight months of the year.
Sanctuary policies actually help. There is no evidence that sanctuary jurisdictions have increased crime. In fact, undocumented immigrants tend to be more law-abiding. Local law enforcement and the Mayor of Portland noted that sanctuary policies make the city safer by encouraging people to come forward with information about crimes.
2/- We need all Mult Co residents, no matter their immigration status, to feel confident going to law enforcement w/o worry of deportation.— Mike Reese (@SheriffReese) September 19, 2017
The Governor? Oh, and just to be even more of a dick, Sessions refused to meet with the state's highest ranking official. He ignored Governor Kate Brown's request to discuss her concerns about the ending of DACA and the Trump administrations attempts to withould federal funding from sanctuary cities.
She gave her own press conference.
Oregon is a state that welcomes and wants to encourage our immigrant and our refuge communities. We see them as a very important part of Oregon’s cultural and economic fabric, and they’re part of what makes Oregon unique.
Quick Facts about the AG:
- Sessions is named after not one, but two racist traitors: Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America; P.G.T. Beauregard, the Confederate general who started the Civil War with the bombardment of Fort Sumter
- Sessions was too racist to be confirmed as a federal judge way back in 1986. Under oath, four lawyers told the Senate Judiciary Committee of racists statements made by Sessions including his approval of the KKK, except for the fact that "...they smoked pot."
- Though he takes credit for helping in the case, Sessions encouraged an assistant U.S. attorney working under him to drop a 1981 KKK lynching case, warning that the case wasn't going anywhere and would be bad for his career.
- He also called the same attorney, the only black person in his office, "Boy."