Survey Says, Sell Your Sanctuary

National organization targeting ‘sanctuary states’ includes Eugene residents

A survey obtained by Eugene Weekly claims that “illegal immigrants” are “career criminals” who move to states with “sanctuary policies.” As a result, residents in these states are more likely to be victims of crimes than other states, the survey says.

The survey arrives as Oregon voters are about to decide whether to reject its 30-year old sanctuary law that prevents local law enforcement from using local or state resources to detect or apprehend people violating federal immigration law.

“We have a group of people who would be afraid to call the police,” says Sarah Armstrong, communications director for Oregon ACLU.

If Measure 105 passes, it could affect overall safety and interaction with the police. That’s because Measure 105 would undo a law that was meant to prevent racial profiling and lead to an increase of civil rights violations, she adds.

The survey comes from the National Police Association (NPA), an Indiana-based nonprofit that says its mission is to educate supporters of law enforcement and how to help the police. It targets residents who live in “sanctuary states.” In addition to its guise as a research poll, it asks for money to support law enforcement, but the proceeds go only to the nonprofit.

The survey echoes the politically charged language of a push poll, which is a form of polling that intends to sway political opinion and is condemned by the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

It was sent out to 40 states, says NPA President and CEO Ed Hutchison. He doesn’t know how many surveys were sent out in Oregon, though.

The survey wasn’t sent out because of Measure 105, Hutchison says. The survey is just meant to gather data and act as a fundraiser for the nonprofit, as well as draw attention to the problem of noncooperation with ICE agents, which isn’t unique to Oregon, he says.

Hutchison adds that NPA opposes so-called sanctuary states. NPA aims to protect all law enforcement, and this policy puts ICE officers in danger when local police don’t allow them to pick up inmates in a safe environment, he says.

NPA even plays the Sept. 11 card when asking recipients if they were “aware that six of the terrorists who killed over 2,000 Americans on 9/11 were in the U.S. illegally,” adding that terrorists could enter the U.S. and local law enforcement couldn’t detain them until a crime is committed.

Hutchison says he doesn’t know how residents get chosen for the survey. Addresses were selected by a fundraising service, so he says he can’t give a number of how many in Oregon have received the survey.

Participants who wish to return the survey are also asked to contribute to the nonprofit. Those who aren’t interested in donating are forced to check a box saying: “Although I realize that criminal and terrorist illegal immigrants are flocking to Sanctuary Areas like near where I live, I can’t even make a small donation to NPA at this time.”

NPA, founded in 2017, reported $103,071, which Hutchison says is mostly from fundraising mailers — like the most recent survey. However, the organization had $217,542 in expenses, meaning the nonprofit reported more than $100,000 in losses.

The survey follows the heated arguments that come with Measure 105. The ballot measure hasn’t had large injections of capital from interest groups. Those who support the measure — namely, Oregonians for Immigration Reform — have depended on President Donald Trump’s narratives on immigration.

If you want to lend some support to your favorite, local immigrants rights organization, such as CAUSA, or Centro Latino Americano,