A person’s immigration status is inadmissible at trial

The Seattle Times had an article today outlining a case that was the impetus for the Washington Supreme Court’s new evidence rule making a person’s immigration status inadmissible at trial regardless of whether it is a criminal or civil trial. You can read the new rule here. The person’s immigration status is generally inadmissible unless the party trying to introduce this evidence can show that it is essential to prove party’s cause of action, an element of the criminal offense (or defense to the charge), or to show bias or prejudice of a witness. The new rule is listed as ER 413.