Our Next District Attorney Must Stand Up Against Trump and Barr’s Racist Immigration Policies

Mike Schmidt
Feb 19 · 3 min read

Every time we turn on the news, it feels like the rule of law is under attack in this country. Donald Trump and his Attorney General, William Barr, are using the Department of Justice to tear down political rivals and push partisan agendas that seem aimed at appeasing their own narrow base of supporters — not bringing the country together.

And now they have Oregon directly in their sights.

US Attorney General William Barr and Mike Schmidt, candidate for Multnomah District Attorney
US Attorney General William Barr and Mike Schmidt, candidate for Multnomah District Attorney

Trump and Barr are coming after us for standing up for immigrants and protecting the rights of refugees. Portland has been a sanctuary city since 1987, and Oregon voters just reaffirmed our statewide sanctuary law at the ballot box in 2018. We stood for equity and voted against the demonization of immigrants.

Last Wednesday, The Oregonian reported that Attorney General William Barr and the Trump administration’s US Attorney for Oregon, Billy Williams, are attacking sanctuary cities like ours.

Then, this past weekend, the news got even worse:

The New York Times revealed that Trump is planning to deploy border patrol tactical units as part of “a supercharged arrest operation in sanctuary cities across the country.”

Attorney General Barr also ominously warned that the Trump Department of Justice was “meticulously reviewing the actions of certain district attorneys” who do not subscribe to their views on immigration.

This kind of politically-motivated federal interference in the work of locally elected district attorneys is alarming — and we cannot tolerate it.

Multnomah County deserves a district attorney who will stand up to Attorney General Barr and is not afraid to defend our immigrant and refugee communities against the Trump administration’s racist policies.

I’ve made my positions crystal clear from the start of this campaign. I have pledged to:

  1. Not cooperate with ICE. Oregon law is clear: Local law enforcement resources should not be used to help ICE target crime victims, defendants, or witnesses using our courthouses. All Oregonians should feel safe reporting crimes and showing up to court.
  2. Protect immigrant communities. Prosecutors should consider possible immigration consequences when handling criminal cases. It can be fundamentally inequitable when two people commit the same crime and receive the same sentence — yet one is deported while the other is not.
  3. Appoint a hate & bias crimes prosecutor. If elected, I will appoint a deputy to focus on prosecuting hate crimes, tracking hate incidents, and rebuilding trust with immigrant communities and communities of color.

I don’t subscribe to Donald Trump’s bigoted, divisive views on immigration, and I won’t change my mind as Multnomah County’s next District Attorney.

It may not be comfortable for my opponent to stand up to his bosses in the US Department of Justice, but I hope he’ll do the right thing and join me in opposing their dangerous anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies.

And I hope others running for District Attorney in other counties across Oregon will join me, too.

We need to stand up for what’s right and fight for justice for everyone in our community.


Mike Schmidt

Written by

Candidate for Multnomah County District Attorney

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