Domestic Violence Survivor, Advocates, Law Enforcement Leaders Ask Oregonians to Vote No on Measure 105

 Domestic violence survivor, Karla Juarez, shares her experience.

Domestic violence survivor, Karla Juarez, shares her experience.

For immediate release — Oct. 22, 2018
Contact: Peter Zuckerman, Communications Director, 310-507-4689

Domestic Violence Survivor, Advocates, Law Enforcement Leaders Ask Oregonians to Vote No on Measure 105
Measure 105 Could Mean The Difference Between Life or Death for Immigrant Survivors

PORTLAND, OR — Domestic violence survivor Karla Juarez joined advocates and law enforcement officials to call on Oregonians to vote No on Measure 105, so no immigrant who also is experiencing domestic violence feels safe contacting the police to report the abuse. 

“We all deserve to live in a country where we can trust the police to protect our families and take care of our communities,” Karla said. “I am proud to say that is possible in Oregon—our law enforcement professionals recognize the importance of building trust with immigrant communities and that this anti-racial profiling law is critical to that maintaining that trust.”

Karla’s mother immigrant to the United States from Guatemala and experienced domestic violence. She said that no matter the level of abuse, her mom was always too afraid to call the police for fear she it would jeopardize her immigration status. Tragically, Karla’s mother was eventually deported to Guatemala, where she was murdered. 

Measure 105 seeks to throw out Oregon’s 31-year-old anti-racial profiling law, which has been protecting immigrant communities from unfairly being targeted by law enforcement for the color of their skin, their accents or perceived immigration status.

This law also is critical to building trust with immigrants, who may reluctant to report domestic violence for fear of being targeted because of their immigration status or the immigrant status of a family member. 

“As chief, the most important lesson I learned is that trust is critical to keeping our communities safe,” said Carla Piluso, former chief of police for the City of Gresham. “When community members trust you, they will be far more likely to report a crime if they are a victim or make a report if they witness a crime. And they are far more likely to testify in court.” 

Advocates affirm the importance of this law. 

“For survivors, laws like this anti-racial profiling law are not gestures. They are a matter of life of death,” said Claire Barrera, Supervisor, Proyecto UNICA, El Programa Hispano Católico. “Our staff is in contact with hundreds of survivors every year and one of the first questions they always ask is ‘if I make a report will I be deported or will a member of my family be deported?’ ”

The Latino Network serves thousands of Latinx youth and families a year and knows first-hand what’s at risk were Measure 105 passed.

“Were this law thrown out, it could put our kids in the horrible position of deciding between protecting their family members or community members from violence or risking that someone close to them may be deported,” said Carmen Rubio, Latino Network executive director. “This is not who we are as Oregonians.”

Ron Louie is the retired police chief from the City of Hillsboro, where nearly a quarter of the residents are Latino. 

“Good policing isn't just about responding to 911 calls; it's about being a resource to help identify issues and solve problems for our community,” he said. “It's about being someone that the community feels comfortable turning to for help when they have been victimized, or when they witness a crime. That's why, when I heard about the effort to eliminate Oregon's 31-year-old anti-profiling law, I felt the need to speak out. If we eliminate this law, we'll lose the trust we've worked so hard over decades to build — and in turn, local communities will become less safe, because it would erode community trust.”