Assembly approves bill that prohibits mention of immigration status in open court

The Assembly, last week, overwhelmingly voted to approve SB 785 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) which would prohibit the disclosure of a person’s immigration status in open court in criminal and civil actions unless the party seeking the disclosure requests a confidential in-camera hearing and the court determines that the evidence is relevant and admissible.

The surprisingly bi-partisan vote was 69-1.

CNPA is the sole opponent to the bill.

CNPA opposes the measure because it does not follow well established Constitutional principles for closing courtrooms.

The bill was introduced to protect undocumented individuals from being identified, arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who have increasingly used California courthouses to search for suspected undocumented immigrants for deportation purposes.

SB 785 is on the Senate floor awaiting a vote to concur in amendments that were taken in the Assembly. The Senate will likely vote on the bill next week and send it to the Governor who will have 10 days to sign or veto it after being placed on his desk.