Governor Jerry Brown signs bill that prohibits mention of immigration status in open court

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown announced his signature approval of SB 785 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) which prohibits 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.

CNPA was the sole opponent to the bill.

CNPA opposed the measure because it does not follow well established Constitutional principles for closing proceedings thereby making it more difficult for the public and journalists to hold courts accountable.

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 was an urgency measure, passed by a 2/3 vote of both houses, meaning that it becomes law immediately upon the Governor’s signature.