Legislature considers tweaks to laws to help immigrants

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon legislators heard testimony on a bill that would prohibit courts from asking defendants about their immigration status, a move advocates said would help encourage immigrants afraid of deportation to participate in the judicial system.

The Statesman Journal reports it’s one of a pair of bills advocates said would help apply Oregon’s laws equally to immigrants of various statuses who are experiencing unintended consequences in state courts.

House Bill 2932 would also require a defendant be informed on how a plea might impact their immigration status and give them more time for a plea decision afterward.

Lawyers who testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Monday said they don’t believe the question of immigration status is being posed maliciously, but it’s one that is having adverse consequences.