ACLU of Oregon Files Lawsuit Demanding Documents on Implementation of Trump Muslim Ban

protesters at Portland International AirportApril 12, 2017 — The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon (ACLU of Oregon) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) affiliates in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit today against the regional U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office in demanding government documents about the on-the-ground implementation of President Trump’s Muslim bans.

Today’s action is part of a total of 13 FOIA lawsuits filed by ACLU affiliates across the country. The ACLU of Oregon lawsuit is seeking records from U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Portland Field Office. In particular, the lawsuit seeks records related to CBP’s implementation of President Trump’s Muslim bans at Portland International Airport, Denver International Airport, Ted Stevens International Airport, Boise International Airport, Casper/Natrona County International Airport and at port of entry offices in Anchorage, Denver, Boise, Portland, Casper.

The ACLU first sought this information through FOIA requests submitted to CBP on February 2, 2017. Since the government has failed to substantively respond, the ACLU is now suing.

“Oregonians have been cut off from their families, friends, and business associates by President Trump’s Muslim bans and the chaotic implementation that followed,” said Mat dos Santos, ACLU of Oregon legal director. “Portland International Airport is our gateway to the world and we deserve to know how the executive orders have been carried out here.”

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Victory! ACLU of Oregon Settles Lawsuit on Behalf of Portland Woman Whose Phone was Seized While Filming Police in 2013

Carrie Medina filming policeApril 10, 2017 – The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon (ACLU of Oregon) today announced that a settlement had been reached with TriMet, the City of Portland, and the City of Gresham in a federal lawsuit stemming from a 2013 incident when a Portland woman’s phone was seized while live streaming police activity. The lawsuit, Carrie Medina v. City of Portland, et al, argued that Medina’s constitutional rights were violated when a Gresham police officer snatched her phone from her hands, twisted her arm, and detained her while she was live streaming police activity.

“My experience may have been eye opening for many, but it was no surprise to those who have regular encounters with law enforcement,” said Carrie Medina, plaintiff in the suit.

The ACLU lawsuit alleged that police violated Medina’s free speech and free press rights when they stopped her live stream broadcast of a police encounter involving multiple law enforcement agencies near a Trimet stop. The suit also alleged that Medina’s rights against unreasonable search and seizure were violated when the officer seized and then searched her phone without her consent or a search warrant, and that the officer also unlawfully detained her that day.

WATCH: An officer grabs Carrie Medina's phone in Portland in 2013.

The settlement agreement stipulated that Portland and Gresham must adopt new police policies and training regarding the public’s right to film police activities. The City of Gresham’s new policy under the settlement went into effect in May 2016 and the City of Portland’s new policy went into effect in October 2016. The City of Gresham was also required to pay $85,000 in legal fees to Medina.

“Carrie wholeheartedly believes in the power of filming the police as a tool to increase accountability,” said Alan Galloway, attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine who represented Medina. “Carrie was clear that she wanted her case to bring about policy changes to protect the right to film police, not monetary damages. Although the settlement took a lot of time and effort to reach, the resulting policies and training clearly recognize the Constitutional right to film the police.”

“Bystander video has had an incredible impact on the way Americans understand police encounters,” said Mat dos Santos, legal director at the ACLU of Oregon. “Now anyone with a cell phone can expose injustice and hold police accountable. It is critical that police policies recognize and respect the public’s right to film police.”

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Report: Decriminalizing Homelessness in Oregon

sign reads: Everyone has the right to rest

Take Action: Tell your Oregon legislators you support the Right to Rest Act, HB 2215.

April 5, 2017 - Oregon cities and counties are making it a crime for people to be homeless. Our new report, Decriminalizing Homelessness: Why Right to Rest Legislation is the High Road for Oregon, shows that basic acts of survival are being criminalized all across the state. 

Our research found that Oreogn's most populous cities and counties have 224 laws that criminalize necessary life-sustaining activities like sitting, lying, resting, or eating in public. When someone has nowhere else to do these things, fines, fees, and a criminal record only further entrenches them in homelessness. Oregonians living on the street are forced make impossible choices to go about their daily lives.

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Another Portland “Dreamer” in ICE Detention

Advocates Say DACA Youth Needs Medication, Wheelchair 

Emmanuel at his high school graduationMarch 29, 2017 - Immigrants’ rights groups said today another Portland “dreamer” is being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Tacoma detention center, 21-year-old Emmanuel Ayala Frutos. He was picked up by ICE from his home in North Portland early Sunday morning without a warrant. The groups said that Ayala Frutos has serious health issues that they worried were being ignored by ICE officials.

Mat dos Santos, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon (ACLU of Oregon), said he was concerned that Ayala Frutos was not allowed to bring his medication to control his bipolar disorder or his wheelchair with him to ICE detention.

“This is an awful, inhumane case,” dos Santos said. “Emmanuel should be recovering at home with his family, not locked away without his medication in Tacoma. His family said that ICE agents would only let him bring his leg brace, but they insisted he be allowed to bring his walker.”

In February, Ayala Frutos was discharged from Legacy Emmanuel hospital following a six week stay after being struck by a car while riding his skateboard. Both his legs were were broken and he underwent surgeries. 

“Emmanuel is in pain and at serious risk of injury,” said Ian Philabaum, an immigrant rights advocate at Innovation Law Lab. “ICE showed up early Sunday morning, without a warrant, and tricked a struggling young man from his home by telling him they were going to talk about this DACA status.”

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Portland Dreamer is Reunited with his Family, For Now — But this Won't be the Last Heartbreaking Story Under Trump's ICE

By Sarah Armstrong, Communications and Outreach Director

Francisco reunited with familyMarch 28, 2017 - Last night, Francisco Rodriguez Dominguez, a 25-year-old “dreamer” from Portland, was reunited with his family after being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Their emotional reunion was possible because people came together to resist the risky constitutional actions of President Trump’s immigration agents and to say loudly that they cannot take one of our own without a fight.  

Francisco is an Oregonian. He lives in the neighborhood he grew up in, graduated from Reynolds High School, and attends Mt. Hood Community College. He volunteers at his church, coaches an elementary school soccer team, and works at a food pantry that serves low income families. His family is in Oregon. His friends are in Oregon. Which is why it was shocking to learn that federal immigration agents, without a warrant and without any cause, raided his home on Sunday morning.

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VICTORY! Portland “Dreamer” Released From ICE Detention

Detained DACA recipient quickly reunited with family following public outcry

March 27, 2017 - Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez, the 25-year-old DACA recipient who was picked up by ICE agents at his Portland home Sunday, was released from ICE custody on bond following a public outcry over his detention. Advocacy groups Causa Oregon, the Latino Network, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon (ACLU of Oregon) credited the massive public response to his story for the quick turn of events.

“We are thankful to everyone who called to ask ICE to release Francisco,” said Mat dos Santos, legal director at the ACLU of Oregon. “The phone lines were jammed up all day yesterday and today. Yet again, people have shown that they reject the cruel policies of the Trump administration.”

Andrea Williams, executive director of Causa Oregon said today’s news gave her hope.

“Families should not be torn apart. Dreamers and children should be safe in our state. Oregonians have the right to demand that ICE adopt more humane policies and tactics. We saw Oregonians speak out over the last 24 hours, and it resulted in Francisco’s swift release and reunification with his family.”

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