Sessions to talk sanctuary cities on Portland visit

Protesters are expected when US Attorney General is in Portland

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the annual conference of the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children at the KI Convention Center on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017 in Green Bay, Wis. (Adam Wesley/The Post-Crescent via AP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — US Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in Portland Tuesday to speak with local law enforcement officials about sanctuary cities.

The Attorney General, an outspoken critic of sanctuary cities, will make his remarks at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the USCIS — US Citizenship and Immigration Services — field office in Northwest Portland.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler — who strongly opposes Sessions’ stance on immigration policy, will not meet with him.

When Commissioner Nick Fish learned of Sessions’ visit, he posted on his Facebook page:

“Attorney General Sessions is in town–and we need to let him know that Portland stands with our dreamers.”

Protesters are expected in downtown Portland during the time Sessions is in the city.

“I’m hoping that we make enough of a presence, that him traveling through downtown Portland, he will know that there is a protest to him in the city,” activist Gregory McKelvey said.

KOIN 6 News learned he will meet with local police officers, including the head of the Portland Police Association, acting Portland police chief Mathew Wagenknecht, Portland assistant chief Chris Davis, Portland acting assistant chief Robert King, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese and Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett, who is the president of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association.

Sessions is also scheduled to meet privately with Billy Williams, the US Attorney for Oregon.

Sessions is strongly pushing sanctuary cities like Portland to enforce US immigration laws or lose federal funding. But just last week a federal judge blocked efforts to withhold money for police from sanctuary cities.

Richard Lamountain with Oregonians for Immigration Reform believes Sessions’ policies mean more jobs for Americans.

“I think he’s the star of President Trumps cabinet,” Lamountain said. “Our first and foremost responsibility is to our own citizens.”

The group is working to get a measure on the ballot to repeal a law they feel is in the way.

“OFIR is spearheading an effort to repeal, Oregon revised statute, 181 A 820, which forbids local police and sheriff’s from offering their full help to federal immigration authorities,” Lamountain said.

Federal dollars for more officers will definitely be a topic of discussion with Sessions, local law enforcement leaders told KOIN 6 News.

Pot may also be a topic on the table in Portland. Sessions has scolded states like Oregon that have legalized recreational marijuana — which is still illegal under federal law.