One in ten Oregonians is an immigrant. Under a federal administration focused on stigmatization, fear-mongering, and the mass detention and removal of persons who are not citizens, Immigrant Defense Oregon exists to provide information and legal services that support and prepare our non-citizen community members for confronting and resisting these efforts. We focus on serving and educating Oregonians who are at risk of detention and deportation. We reject the political climate of negative stigmatization of persons who have uncertain immigration legal status and actively seek to be a project that recognizes and values the diversity, differences and complexity of our communities. For these reasons, Metropolitan Public Defender has launched Immigrant Defense Oregon.
At this time of crisis, we have created a team of immigration attorneys to defend Oregonians who have been targeted for deportation, to educate our communities on deportation proceedings and ongoing changes in immigration enforcement, and to ensure that our immigrant neighbors understand their rights and due process protections within the U.S. immigration system. We exist within a growing network of legal and direct-service providers within the Portland community and are committed to the shared vision of standing in solidarity and support with our immigrant communities.
As an organization Metropolitan Public Defender is dedicated to informing and influencing the trajectory of an immigrant client’s criminal case to minimize immigration consequences wherever possible. Each criminal defense client is assigned an immigration attorney as early as possible in their case to give both the defense attorney and the client as much assistance as they might need in navigating the treacherously complicated legal area of criminal and immigration law and potential subsequent removal proceedings.
Metropolitan Public Defender has been fighting to protect the civil rights of marginalized communities within Oregon since 1971. Immigrant Defense Oregon is housed within MPD’s Community Law Division, which serves to mitigate the impact of the criminal justice system by reducing the barriers to employment, housing, education, and other opportunities.