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Washington County stake in threatened federal grants: Under $1 million

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Oregon senators decry U.S. attorney general's pledge to withhold funds from police agencies that do not fully cooperate with immigration-law enforcement.

Washington County could lose as much as $900,000 from the sheriff's budget if federal officials carry out a threat to withhold money from police agencies that do not aid federal immigration enforcement.

The total is overstated because it includes money from a state program aimed at helping counties reduce the number of inmates going into state prisons.

Sgt. Bob Ray, a sheriff's spokesman, said the money is less than 1 percent of the amount budgeted for sheriff's operations in the year ending June 30. The $92 million budgeted includes money from property tax levies that are earmarked for county law enforcement services and sheriff's patrols outside cities, and service contracts with cities.

Still, Oregon's U.S. senators reacted sharply after Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened a cutoff of Justice Department grants to state and local agencies that fail to cooperate fully with enforcement of immigration laws.

"While we are not yet sure how this new policy will affect Oregon communities, the Sessions policy would deeply undermine law enforcement and public safety, resulting in less safety in our communities rather than more," U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley said.



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