New York Gov. Cuomo Signs Protect Our Courts Act Prohibiting ICE from Making Arrests in State Courthouses
Louis Casiano, Fox News, December 15, 2020
New legislation in New York will bar federal immigration agents from making arrests inside state courthouses without a judicial warrant, a move seen as pushback against President Trump’s hardline immigration policies.
The Protect Our Courts Act, signed Tuesday, comes amid concerns from immigration advocates that fears of being arrested deter undocumented immigrants from making court appearances. The bill prevents Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents without a warrant signed by a federal judge, from arresting anyone inside a statehouse, or those going to or leaving a court proceeding.
In a statement, an ICE spokesperson told Fox News the agency was reviewing the law but noted that its agents carry out arrests in courthouses in a “professional manner against specific, targeted aliens with a final removal order or those who pose a public safety threat, some of whom have multiple criminal convictions.”
“Restricting ICE’s access to courthouses only increases risk to public safety and subjects the public to more visible enforcement efforts, because it forces ICE law enforcement officers to make arrests out in the community rather than the controlled environment of a courthouse,” the statement continued.
In June, a Manhattan federal judge ordered ICE to stop making arrests at state courthouses, saying the agency’s tactics amounted to “disrupting and intimidating intrusions.”
In 2019, ICE made 173 arrests at state courthouses, much higher than the 28 made in 2016, before Trump took office, according to an Immigrant Defense Project report.