Bill protecting immigrants’ information passes House
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Rep. Teresa Alonso León (D-Woodburn) tells her House colleagues Tuesday that House Bill 3464 protects the privacy of all Oregonians, regardless of their immigration status. (Photo by Jake Arnold, OSBA)
Passionate, sometimes emotional, debate Tuesday in the House led to the passage of House Bill 3464, which prohibits public bodies from disclosing personal information unless required by law or a warrant.
The bill was a response to the increased attention on illegal immigration and the fears that was creating, particularly among students.
“Oregon’s children, our children, should not be living in fear,” said Rep. Teresa Alonso León (D-Woodburn), one of the bill’s sponsors.
Rep. Diego Hernandez (D-Portland), also a bill sponsor, said it was a response to questions from public-service providers and school districts. Hernandez is a Reynolds School Board member. The bill would give school administrators, county judges, shelter operators and other public agents clarity about what they can and cannot share.
Opponents of the bill said it was a matter of respecting federal immigration policy.
“Are we a nation of laws and orders?” asked Rep. Greg Barreto (R-Cove).
According to Hernandez, the bill would still allow public agencies to share all information that is legally required to be shared.
The bill would also require the Oregon attorney general to develop model policies for handling federal immigration enforcement at schools, health agencies, courthouses, shelters and other public facilities.
The bill passed 35-23 and goes to the Senate. It is scheduled for a first reading Wednesday.