We support HB 2932, which will make our justice system more equitable and safe for all participants. This bill will prohibit courts from inquiring about or requiring the disclosure of a defendant's immigration status at any time during criminal proceedings. It will also ensure that defendants are informed of the potential immigration consequences of their case and have an opportunity to obtain additional legal advice.
HB 2932 will also make sure that courthouses are "sensitive locations," similar to schools and hospitals, where immigration enforcement is disallowed.
It is in the interest of every Oregonian to encourage court appearances. Our court system requires participation by defendants, witnesses, and victims to function correctly. But when community members fear that appearing in court may result in exposure to immigration enforcement, their participation in court proceedings and their interaction with local government is deterred. This has particularly serious consequences for survivors of violent crime and domestice violence, and for child abuse and trafficking investigations.