On November 14, Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walter enacted a rule that bars federal immigration agents from performing arrests in Oregon courthouses without a signed judicial warrant. The rule was first asked for in October by immigrant rights groups, and subsequently recommended by the Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee.
“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.”
Previously, ICE agents only required administrative warrants for courtroom arrests, which could be signed within their agency.
In a statement, ICE spokesperson Tanya Roman declared “It is ironic that elected officials want to see policies in place to keep ICE out of courthouses, while caring little for laws enacted by Congress to keep criminal aliens out of our country.” Furthermore, she said the agency “will continue to carry out its mission to uphold public safety and enforce immigration law, and consider carefully whether to refer those who obstruct our lawful enforcement efforts for criminal prosecution.”
By Brandon Urey