The Legal Aid Society and Brooklyn Defender Services issued the below joint statement today responding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) continued courthouse raids that undermine the integrity of New York’s court system, erode Constitutionally protected rights of due process, and deter immigrants from seeking services offered by the courts:
“We are appalled by yet another courthouse arrest by ICE. If the people we represent cannot safely appear in court to participate in their own defense – and, further, are sanctioned with warrants for not appearing – then the integrity of the whole system must be questioned. This situation is intolerable. Something must change, and it must change now. Courts must protect all those they hail into their chambers, not feed them into the Trump Administration’s mass detention and deportation machine. We demand ICE-free courts now, and immediate action from New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and the Office of Court Administration.”
***The Immigrant Defense Project has documented at least 25 courthouse arrests and three attempted arrests in New York City since the beginning of this year.