Jackson Co. is addressing concerns with court system and immigration

Medford, Ore. — The people in charge of Jackson County’s court system want everyone to know they’re welcome.

A public forum was announced Tuesday to help calm the fears of people who may be avoiding the legal system because of their immigration status.

“They should feel comfortable using the court services,” Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert said.

Heckert says there’s been a lot of concern in the community lately about whether it’s safe for immigrants to go to the court house.

That’s why county leaders are holding a public forum next week to alleviate any fears the latino and immigrat communities may have.

“For example, if you’re a victim of a crime and we’re calling you as a witness we don’t care what your immigration status is. It’s not something we’d every inquire about and we would not ask anybody else to look into that,” Heckert said.

Organizations like SO HEALTH-E and Unite Oregon are a few behind the event.

They say the outreach is needed.

“Right now the latino and immigrant community are very skeptical about reporting any kind of crimes or really being able to provide a lot of information and help to law enforcement agencies because they’re scared of what might happen due to what’s happening in the national level,” Unite Oregon

According to Heckert, there’s no evidence the community-wide concern has prevented witnesses from testifying yet, but she’s hoping this public forum will prevent that from ever happening in the future.

“We just want to reassure people that they can still use the services that the court offers and take advantage of those and not be afraid that something that wouldn’t happen could happen,” Heckert said.

The meeting will be held June 29th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Medford Public Library.

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