Assembly committee gives nod to bill that prohibits mention of immigration status in open court

The Assembly Judiciary Committee, last week, passed 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.

Despite CNPA’s objections, the committee unanimously approved the bill on a 10-0 vote.

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 moves to the Assembly floor where it is eligible to be heard next week.