In the year since President Trump took office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has ramped up its activity and increased deportations and other troubling policies, routinely grabbing the attention of groups like the ACLU. ICE formerly released its newest policy on Wednesday to authorize agents to make arrests at local, state, and federal courthouses.
According to ICE’s directive, the agency will only target certain individuals like “convicted criminals, gang members, public safety threats and immigrants who have been previously deported or ordered to leave.” However, judges and critics of the policy predict that it will cause victims, witnesses, and family members to stay away from the courts.
Adding fuel to the criticism that ICE is attacking sanctuary cities (which the Trump administration has done a number of times), the agency cited the “increasing unwillingness of some jurisdictions to cooperate with ICE in the safe and orderly transfer of targeted aliens inside their prisons and jails” as the reason for the new policy.
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, who has criticized ICE in the past, is cautiously optimistic regarding the change: “It’s essential that we protect the integrity of our state court justice system and protect the people who use it.” ICE has clarified that they’ll still try to avoid “sensitive locations” like schools, hospitals, and churches. However, allowing courthouse arrests presents issues, not the least of which is discouraging women from seeking projection from domestic abusers.
(Via Associated Press)