Hillsboro To Fight ICE Subpoena


The City of Hillsboro is an inclusive and welcoming place for all. We work to ensure that all members of our community are safe and can call upon public safety assistance and access City services whenever necessary — without being questioned about federal immigration laws and without fear of reprisal based solely on immigration status.

On Friday, the City of Hillsboro provided the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency with a legal response to its administrative subpoena submitted on February 20, 2020.

Prior to receiving the subpoena, ICE made an informal request for information “for immigration enforcement purposes.” Consistent with the requirements of state law, the City denied the informal request. ICE responded to this denial with the delivery of the administrative subpoena — a new tactic designed to circumvent state and local laws.

Faced with a March 6 deadline for response, the City of Hillsboro has informed ICE we will not comply with the administrative subpoena, and we will await clarification from a federal court — and the legal opinion of a federal judge — on this precedent setting case to determine if we are compelled by law to provide the requested information.

Mayor Callaway: “We will not be used as a political chess piece”

It appears that ICE already has all of the information that it has subpoenaed from the City. Because of this, there is no legitimate law enforcement purpose for ICE to demand this information from Hillsboro through an administrative subpoena.

“This is a moral issue and a matter of principle,” said Mayor Steve Callaway. “ICE has taken a political action, making a strategic decision to use an administrative subpoena to undermine state and local law. We will not go along with this tactic at the expense of our community members. We will not be used as a political chess piece. We will stand up for what’s right — and what’s legal.”

The City of Hillsboro Police Department and its officers work each day to maintain our community’s trust. Maintaining trust in our public safety professionals is essential to their work to ensure everyone in our community is safe.

As we await the ruling of a federal court to clarify our legal responsibilities, let it be clear that we do not condone criminal activity. We enforce criminal laws by making arrests and sending accused criminals to jail, which is precisely what happened in the case at issue.

The individual in question is currently in custody in the Washington County Jail, which is run by the Sheriff. The City of Hillsboro does not operate a jail and has no control over the individual in custody. That being said, we will not invite a slippery slope of future administrative subpoenas for information about other community members, including those who have not been charged with a crime.

Our police officers are not an extension of federal immigration enforcement, but our police officers have an obligation as public safety professionals to provide limited support to ICE when lives are at stake. Our police are here to provide community safety to all, and the City of Hillsboro will continue to stand up for what’s right and maintain our community’s trust.

Source: City of Hillsboro