Corporate Cheap-Labor Lobby Opposes Oregon’s Sanctuary Repeal Initiative



In what should surely come as no surprise to anyone, several big corporations have recently come out against Measure 105, the initiative on Oregon’s November ballot that, if approved, would repeal the state’s 1987 sanctuary law.  The Chamber of Commerce crowd’s seemingly limitless appetite for cheap labor has reared its head again, and once more they’re trying to make sure state and local governments ignore and undermine our country’s immigration laws.  As usual, it’s wrapped in touchy-feely rhetoric, but it’s the same game as ever: spread disinformation, appeal to emotions, and pad the bottom line.

The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office released their Online Voter Guide for the November election on September 11.  In it, five top Oregon corporate officials provided statements for a joint “Argument In Opposition” entitled “Oregon Business Leaders Agree: Measure 105 is Bad for Business, Bad for Oregon”: Nike CEO Mike Parker, Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, A to Z Wineworks President Amy Prosenjak, and Vernier Software co-founders Christine and David Vernier.

In Parker’s statement, he proclaims that “[e]nding Oregon’s sanctuary law will damage Oregon’s long-standing track record as a place that attracts diverse talent from across the globe.”  But that’s apparently just a foregone conclusion to him, as he never explains how one leads to the other.  Likewise, throughout all five statements, the common themes are striking: 1) a total conflation of legal immigrants and illegal aliens into the single category of “immigrants,” as if there were no difference; 2) vacuous praise for “diversity” as a self-evident virtue and 3) condemnation of Measure 105 as harmful to Oregon’s economy and “values,” with no explanation, arguments or evidence to show the actual impact.

But praise of high-minded values is particularly rich coming from these companies.  Nike, of course, a true global leader in hypocrisy, is well-known for both its social-justice rhetoric and for paying rock-bottom wages often in sweatshop conditions across the globe.

And Columbia Sportswear, despite its clean, green ethical brand image, subcontracts much of its production to Shahi Export, the largest garment manufacturer in India, whose Unit 8 factory in Bangalore reportedly pays an average of 62 cents an hour and where in April it’s alleged ”supervisors…were ’engaged in vicious retaliation against workers’ exercise of labor rights, including physical beatings, death threats, threats of mass termination and the expulsion from the factory of 15 worker activists.’” Fewer than 500 of Columbia’s over 328,000 manufacturing jobs are still in Oregon, and under 1,000 in total are in the U.S.

But please, by all means, let’s hear more all about their corporate “values.” What they value is the cheapest labor they can find anywhere.  The rest is rhetorical fluff.  Do these companies and their executives value either the safety or prosperity of ordinary Oregonians and their families?  Based on the dichotomy between their rhetoric and their business practices, Oregon voters might just decide to “take a knee” when reading these CEOs’ statements.

About Author

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Dave joined FAIR in 2017 after more than ten years as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward County, Florida. His prosecutorial experience covered trial litigation at the misdemeanor and felony levels, drug court and mental health court, and two years as an intake attorney in the juvenile division working closely with law enforcement. Before this, he was a legislative analyst/staff attorney with the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where he assisted state legislators in ensuring the effectiveness and constitutionality of legislation on a wide variety of subject matter. In both capacities, he often dealt with the interaction of state law and immigration. Dave holds BAs in History and International Relations from American University and a JD from Tulane University Law School.

6 Comments

  1. avatar

    It’s all about the almighty dollar. The state saves money when U.S. Citizens are employed, paid a fair wage and not dependent on benefits to survive.
    Sanctuary states undermine the U.S. economy. Therefore, the entire nation.

  2. avatar

    Hey, it’s Oregon. Just another lawless do whatever you want jurisdiction, as long as you mouth the proper political line. There’s video from a couple days ago, once again ignored by the mainstream media, of a group of Antifa protestors blocking traffic and assaulting people and damaging their cars. Police stand by and do nothing. Just like they did in San Jose Cal. where those leaving a Trump rally in 2016 were assaulted while the cops stood by. There’s a lawsuit in the case that the city tried to have dismissed but two courts have said the suit can go forward.

    Hillary was just in England where she was asked about the mobs harassing GOP officials and her reply was that there was no need to be “civil” to them because essentially they’re bad people and on the wrong side. In other words, yet another version of calling tens of millions of Americans “deplorable” and “irredeemable”. Can you imagine that women as president. Just a few months ago she was over there and portrayed the Brits who voted for Brexit as basically provincial rubes. When you have the “leaders” of one political party encourage and approve of mob action against the other we have a problem. We have had Republicans shot at a baseball practice and Senator Paul attacked and badly injured and the other side doesn’t seem to care.

    The left keeps talking about getting rid of the electoral college. How about we have what other nations already have. Ireland had a direct citizen vote in 2004 on birthright citizenship and 79% said parents had to be at least permanent legal residents. The British political establishment would never have approved Britain leaving the European Union but the citizens got a direct vote and said bye bye. And a lot of the establishment is still fighting it. WE get promises and then nothing but the same old same old results. Trump has tried but the courts tie his policies in knots.

    • avatar

      Oregon is one of the many states run by The Rockefeller Foundation. The Sheriff in the Hammond land grab by obama’s BLM and FBI is paid from the foundation, not the taxpayers. The links to the 3 articles I read are no longer valid and merely take you to a Rockefeller Foundation ad page. However, I transcribed them and still have the information. I’m sure there’s still a way of finding this information by an experienced researcher. I’m still searching. BTW – Nevada is another Rockefeller state.

  3. avatar

    When I Found Out Saudi Arabia Was Grabbing Up California Farmland [and scarce water] for Their Alfalfa

    And expecting Americans to pay their H-2C slave social supports for foreign use too, I was HORRIFIED.

  4. avatar

    Here’s the thing with this “sanctuary city” scam: the public is being told that this is about local police not arresting your garden-variety illegal aliens living and working [ILLEGALLY, of course!] in their towns. “These are your neighbors – our city’s cops aren’t enforcing immigration laws” goes the Big Lie. The TRUTH is that it’s about SHIELDING people who have been ARRESTED for a CRIME! That’s right; we’re talking about people in the custody of city, county, and even state law enforcement agencies NOT being turned over to federal authorities for possible removal on immigration violations. It’s a LOT worse than not enforcing the laws; cops, city councils, mayors, chiefs of police, and even JUDGES are conspiring to release wanted criminals back onto the streets – because they’re ILLEGAL ALIENS! Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. In MA, a HEROIN DEALER who was illegal was released!