Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters enacted a new rule Thursday that will make it harder for immigration agents to make civil arrests in the state’s courthouses.
The new rule requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to have a signed judicial warrant if they plan to enter a courthouse to make an arrest. In the past, ICE agents have used administrative warrants that are signed by other ICE officers, rather than a neutral third party, like a judge.
The new rule follows a petition that was sent to the court by immigrants’ rights groups in December 2018. They have argued, among other things, that immigration arrests around and near courthouses puts a chilling effect on those seeking access to the justice system.
“Adopting this rule protects the integrity of the state judicial process and will allow state courts to fully hold accountable people accused of a crime,” Walters said in a release. “Arrests in courthouses have interfered with judicial proceedings and removed criminal defendants before they have been sentenced or completed their sentences. We are adopting this rule to maintain the integrity of our courts and provide access to justice — not to advance or oppose any political or policy agenda.”
The rule also bans civil immigration arrests in courthouses, their parking lots, sidewalks and entryways, unless a judge has signed an arrest warrant.
Oregon is the third state, after New York and New Jersey, to issue a statewide court rule. California lawmakers passed a rule that offers similar protections to immigrants, according to the ACLU of Oregon. For the full story: https://www.opb.org/news/article/ice-courthouse-arrest-ban-oregon/?utm_source=The+Marshall+Project+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f71d7ddc10-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_11_18_12_40&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5e02cdad9d-f71d7ddc10-174450285