Editor’s note: The following opinion is from Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and the entire Board of County Commissioners, Sharon Meieran, Susheela Jayapal, Jessica Vega Pederson and Lori Stegmann:
President Donald Trump’s latest threats to deport millions of people remind us that the need for service, justice, peace and love is as great today as it has ever been.
Such rhetoric is designed to sow fear and political division in our country, without regard for the safety and well-being of some of the most vulnerable families in our community. Policies like this make our communities less safe and less healthy by scaring people away from the public safety system and the critical services they need.
Multnomah County has responded with fairness and compassion. In 2017, the Board of County Commissioners declared Multnomah County a Welcoming County and joined a national network of local governments and nonprofits that share best practices on serving immigrant and refugee residents. We funded immigration legal defense for people facing imminent deportation, as well as navigation services to connect families facing crisis to the critical services they need. We continue to invest in this work today.
As President Trump continues to spread fear and political division in our communities, Multnomah County will remain steadfast to our values. We welcome all, and we are here to serve the people in need in our community regardless of their immigration status.