Don't Ask Immigration Status Act

Summary: The Don’t Ask Immigration Status Act prohibits law enforcement and other agents of the government from inquiring into the immigration status of people – especially those who are complainants or witnesses to violations of law – unless such inquiry is required by federal law.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Don’t Ask Immigration Status Act.”

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(A) FINDINGS—The [legislature/council/commission] finds that:

1. Over XX percent of the residents of [State] were classified as foreign-born in the 2010 census.

2. The cooperation of all members of the community, regardless of immigration status, is essential to law enforcement and helps improve other aspects of government.

3. Currently, both authorized and unauthorized immigrants are less likely to interact with and cooperate with government – particularly to report violations of law – because of the fear that they may be harassed by immigration authorities.

(B) PURPOSE—This law is enacted to promote the safety and health of all residents by making it more likely that immigrants will cooperate with government, especially to report violations of law.

SECTION 3. DON’T ASK IMMIGRATION STATUS

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:

(A) DEFINITIONS—In this section:

1. “Immigration status” means questions of United States citizenship, citizenship of any other country, legal right to reside or otherwise be present in the United States, and the time or manner of a person’s entry into the United States.

2. “Local government” means the government of cities, municipalities, counties and all other subdivisions of government throughout the state.

(B) PROTECTION OF IMMIGRANTS

1. No law enforcement or other agent of [state or local] government shall inquire into the immigration status of any person who interacts with a governmental agency, or ask for their Social Security number or other information that would disclose an individual’s immigration status.

2. Law enforcement and other government offices that regularly have people walk in to report violations of law or to complain about government operations shall prominently post signs describing the government’s policy of not asking about immigration status.

3. During the course of any court proceedings, the government shall oppose efforts of any party to discover a complainant’s or witness’ immigration status and shall seek a protective order or other similar relief to enforce this section.

4. Nothing in this section is intended to prevent government agents from knowing a person’s immigration status or viewing a document that might provide evidence of a person’s immigration status, as long as the person volunteered the information or document to the government agent.

5. If an agent of government learns about a person’s immigration status, the agent shall keep that status confidential and not disclose that information to third parties, including to other government agents, unless required by court order or by federal law.

6. Law enforcement officers may inquire into the immigration status of a person when such inquiry is required by federal law or an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person:

a. Has been convicted of a felony criminal law violation;

b. Was deported or left the United States after the conviction; and

c. Is again present in the United States.

(C) TRAINING OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENTS

1. The [state and each local] government shall train its law enforcement and other government agents to understand and comply with the provisions of this section.

2. The [state and each local] government shall work closely with organizations that serve the immigrant community in the design of this training.

3. The [state and each local] government shall make reasonable efforts to work with community-based organizations in order to educate the immigrant community about this policy.

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This Act shall take effect on July 1, 20XX.


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