Schools May Not Collect or Disclose Information About a Person’s Citizenship or Immigration Status Unless Required by Law
The Oregon Legislature recently declared a state of emergency relating to state public bodies and federal immigration enforcement. Under this act districts may not collect information regarding a person’s citizenship or immigration status, unless required by another state or federal law. Citizenship or immigration status means information about whether a person is a U.S. citizen, or has lawful authority to be in the U.S. by green card, visa, or other official documentation. The act also prohibits all public bodies from disclosing certain information for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration laws. This information includes a person’s address, workplace or hours of work, school or school hours, and contact information (including phone number, email address, or social media account information). Districts may also not disclose: the identity of any known associates or relatives of the person; the date, time or location of the person’s hearings, proceedings or appointments with the public body that are not matters of public record; or any of the above information about the person’s relatives or associates.
This act does not prohibit a public body from disclosing such information when it is required by another state or federal law to do so. For example, disclosures are required when there is a court order, warrant authorized by a court. Additionally, the act does not prohibit a public body from complying with a federal immigration authority—including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—as required by federal law. The act also allows disclosures of aggregate information that is not personally identifiable as well as disclosures to a person about that person or the person’s dependents. The act directs the Attorney General to develop model policies to help public bodies implement this law. These policies will limit immigration enforcement at public schools and other public facilities to the fullest extent consistent with state and federal law. The act will become effective immediately upon the governor’s signature. OSBA is working on a policy update, and will publish further guidance this Fall.