Thursday, June 11, 2020

District Court Halts ICE Enforcement Operations at New York Courthouses

For several years, the Chief Justice of California has sought to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) away from the California courts.  Last year, a federal judge in Massachusetts blocked ICE courthouse arrests there.

CNN reports the latest skirmish between the state courts and federal immigration enforcement.  

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff issued an order yesterday blocking ICE from making arrests in New York courts, finding that the practice is illegal.  The introductory paragraph of his ruling reads as follows:
"Recent events confirm the need for freely and fully functioning state courts, not least in the State of New York. But it is one thing for the state courts to try to deal with the impediments brought on by a pandemic, and quite another for them to have to grapple with disruptions and intimidations artificially imposed by an agency of the federal government in violation of long-standing privileges and fundamental principles of federalism and of separation of powers." 
State and local officials argue that when ICE officers apprehends immigrants at courthouses -- where they are making appearances as defendants, witnesses or victims -- it endangers public safety by making it harder to prosecute crimes.

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