Sanctuary Promise

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About the Law

As a sanctuary state since 1987, Oregon stands for the safety, dignity and human rights of all Oregonians.

Oregon Is a Sanctuary State

As a sanctuary state since 1987, Oregon stands for the safety, dignity and human rights of all Oregonians. Oregon was the first state in the nation to pass a statewide law stopping state and local police and government from helping federal authorities with immigration enforcement.  In the ensuing decades, the law was updated several times.

To strengthen existing sanctuary laws, the Sanctuary Promise Act (HB 3265 ») was passed in 2021. The Act increases safety and protection measures for immigrant communities through increased support, as well as transparency and accountability regarding government interactions with federal immigration authorities.

It is against Oregon law for state and local law enforcement or public agencies (state and local government offices) in the state of Oregon to participate directly or indirectly in immigration enforcement without a judicial warrant. Federal immigration authorities are prohibited from operating private detention centers or accessing non-public spaces in jails.  State and local police are prohibited from acting on non-judicial warrants (see our Glossary).  The Sanctuary Promise Act requires all requests made by federal agencies to state and local law enforcement and government agencies regarding immigration enforcement to be documented, reported, and denied.  There may be exceptions to each of these.

The Sanctuary Promise team at the Oregon Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Unit provides support to impacted community members and elevates violations reported on the Sanctuary Promise Hotline (1-844-924-STAY / 1-844-6-AMPARO) and Online Portal ( or for investigation by Oregon Department of Justice.  Violations are subject to civil legal action by anyone.

What are Oregon’s Sanctuary Promise laws?

Oregon’s sanctuary laws are codified under ORS 180.805 », 180.810 », and 181A.820 to 181A.829 ». The laws are very specific and grant certain exceptions depending on the government agency involved and the exact situation of the targeted person.  Please call the hotline with any questions you may have.

Oregon public bodies and law enforcement agencies can generally not inquire about immigration status or be involved in federal immigration enforcement efforts.  Services, benefits, or other opportunities cannot be denied to any person who is in custody based on immigration status.

Oregon Sanctuary Laws say:

  • You do not have to share and you should not be asked about your country of birth, immigration, or citizenship status by state or local law enforcement or government agencies. There are exceptions.
  • You may not be investigated or interrogated by state or local law enforcement for immigration enforcement purposes.
  • Your country of birth, immigration or citizenship status information should not be stored or shared by state or local government agencies or law enforcement.
  • Your information should not be shared by state or local law enforcement to assist in detaining you or any individual for immigration purposes.
  • All requests from federal agencies to state or local government agencies or law enforcement about immigration enforcement should be documented, reported and denied by the local agency receiving the request.
  • You cannot be arrested from a court facility, or while you are traveling to or from court, with any immigration warrant except a judicial warrant or order signed by a judge (for more information about different types of warrants, see our Glossary).
  • State or local law enforcement or public agencies must refuse and reject collaboration with federal authorities for immigration enforcement purposes, including setting up traffic stops or traffic perimeters to enforce federal immigration laws/orders.
  • You can access certain government services without being asked about your immigration status.
  • You can take legal action against violators of Oregon’s sanctuary laws.
  • If Oregon’s sanctuary laws are being violated by a state or local police officer, state trooper, sheriff’s deputy, or government worker, either during their employment time or off duty time, you can report the violation to the Sanctuary Promise Hotline.

Why report?

The “Report and Support System” is designed to help Oregon DOJ investigate suspected violations to Oregon’s Sanctuary Promise Act and provide support where possible.  If you see something, say something.  If you suspect a violation, please report it!  Advocates on the hotline are multilingual and identify as members of the communities we support.  Interpretation services are available in 240+ languages.

We want to:

  • Support those who witnessed, have been targeted in, or impacted by violations to Oregon’s sanctuary laws.
  • Refer witnesses, targeted individuals, and community members to services that can help.
  • Inform and support the Oregon Department of Justice’s Sanctuary Promise Investigator to determine if ODOJ can open an investigation.
  • Track violations and inform the public about who is violating and if there are trends.

How data is stored and protected

If you are submitting a report of a suspected violation, your name and identifying information will not be made public by ODOJ, unless ODOJ is subpoenaed and compelled by a court order to release investigation information. The Targeted Individual’s name and date of birth will be shared with the following entities for the purpose of investigating a suspected violation:

  • with the Oregon DOJ Sanctuary Promise Investigator; and
  • with the local/state government office or law enforcement agency suspected of violating sanctuary laws during the investigation opened by ODOJ.

Our team of confidential advocates do not share details you share with us publicly or outside of the investigation.  If information you share with us is requested through a subpoena, ODOJ will oppose and fight the subpoena.  ORS 181A.827 » specifically states that ODOJ may not publicize any information that is identifying to you.  If someone requests information about your case through a public records request, we will attempt to notify you and inform you via the phone number you provided in your report.  Personal identifying information will be redacted from any public records requests or summary reports issued by CJC.

Additional information I should know about reporting to the hotline.