U.S. District Court Judge Jed D. Rakoff on June 10, 2020, ruled that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cannot conduct civil arrests on the grounds of New York State courthouses, or of anyone required to travel to or from court as a party or witness. Arresting immigrants when they travel to or from court or while they are in court has been a long-time practice of ICE agents.
The possibility of potential arrest by ICE discourages undocumented immigrant defendants and witnesses from showing up in court. Immigrant advocates charge that ICE arrests in courthouses have skyrocketed since President Donald Trump took office.
Chicago immigration attorney Mario Godoy hopes ICE arrests are banned from Illinois state courthouses too:
Many undocumented immigrants who are victims of crime or are witnesses to a crime are afraid to come forward in case they are arrested. No one should be afraid to use our court system: we should be encouraging crime victims and key witnesses to participate in our judicial system – not fear it.
Dozens of ICE court arrests have occurred at Illinois courthouses since 2017. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with 13 other state Attorney Generals, filed an amicus brief lawsuit, State of Washington v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The lawsuit argues in support of Washington state’s request for a preliminary injunction to immediately halt such arrests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
You need to know your rights! Contact Godoy Law Office if you or a loved one are detained. If you or a loved one are picked up in an ICE raid, you and your family need to move quickly so you can have an attorney advocate next to you. Call the immigration lawyers at Godoy Law Office in Chicago to protect your rights 855-554-6369.