Make the Road New York, Immigrant Defense Project, The Bronx Defenders, and The Legal Aid Society Want ICE Out of the Courts, Reported by Queens Daily Eagle

Posted on February 4, 2019

DAs, Lawmakers And Advocates Rally to Freeze ICE Out of NY Courts

Originally Published in Queens Daily Eagle on February 1, 2019
Written by David Brand

Three New York City District Attorneys joined local lawmakers and immigrants rights advocates at Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan to support legislation banning Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from prowling New York courts and making arrests without a judicial warrant. ICE arrests inside and around New York courthouses increased by 1700 percent between 2016 and 2018, according to a report by the Immigrant Defense Project. Queens and Brooklyn account for the highest number of courthouse ICE arrests in the state, the report reveals.

Assemblymember Michaelle Solages and State Sen. Brad Hoylman announced that they would reintroduce the Protect Our Courts Act in order to stem the fear of deportation among individuals and families involved with the criminal justice system. That fear discourages non-citizens from appearing in court, which leads to danger, complicates their cases and slows the justice system.

“Our judicial system is based on equity and equal accessibility to justice. Changes by federal agencies regarding the enforcement of federal immigration law have instilled significant fear in immigrant communities across New York State,” Solages said in a statement. “As fewer individuals feel safe interacting with the justice system, fearing potential implications for themselves, friends or family, it becomes all the more challenging to promote public safety.”

Demonstrators included representatives from the Immigrant Defense Project, The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, Make the Road New York, Sanctuary for Families, Anti-Defamation League, and various labor unions.

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