Columbia County’s controversial Measure 5-190, approved by that county’s voters in November, was supposed to take effect today. The measure would have penalized businesses that employ undocumented immigrants. However, Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove ruled on Friday that the measure cannot be enforced until legal questions surrounding it have been sorted out.
Plaintiffs in the case, who sued on behalf of employer groups, declared it a victory. They have contended that immigration enforcement is beyond the county’s authority, among other objections. According to the South County Spotlight (Scappoose, Ore.):
Grove is weighing arguments filed by American Civil Liberties Union attorneys that the ordinance poses numerous conflicts with state and federal immigration law, is unconstitutional and exceeds the county’s legislative authority to enforce. Grove is expected to return a summary judgment within 60 days on whether to invalidate the law, uphold it, or pose a mixture of both.