The Legal Aid Society Statement on Citywide Staff Walkout Protesting ICE Courthouse Arrests

 

The Legal Aid Society released the following statement today in response to The Legal Aid staff protesting the arrest of another client by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) earlier in Queens: 

“Today’s arrest perfectly illustrates the unprecedented perils posed to our criminal justice system by ICE’s continued presence in courthouses. Our client – who had no prior record – was simply obeying the rules by appearing on his case. ICE waited until the 1:00 pm Court lunch break, followed our client and his family out of the Court, and arrested him near our office as he was buying a cup of coffee, and waiting to return to Court once lunch was over. This sends an unmistakable message to all noncitizens that exercising your constitutional right to appear in court and fight the charges against you carries incredible risks and disastrous consequences. We stand in solidarity with our staff who are protesting the continued attack on our immigrant clients; and we once again call on New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to take steps to address this crisis immediately.”