A federal judge in New York ruled on Wednesday that arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted at courthouses in the state are illegal. Elected officials, police representatives, prosecutors’ offices, and immigration advocates have all decried the practice, which they say interferes with their ability to pursue criminal investigations and undermines the justice system. The case to stop the practice was brought by the New York Attorney General and District Attorney for the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
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What remains to be seen is whether or not ICE will abide by the ruling. Ordinarily, one would expect a government agency to follow a court’s orders and obey the law. However, this has not always been the case for this particular issue. Last October, California passed AB 668 which includes protection from civil arrest at a courthouse unless pursuant to a valid judicial warrant. ICE openly ignored the California law in February and March, arresting at least seven people for immigration offenses in Northern California courthouses. At the time, ICE argued that California law does not supersede federal law. It remains to be seen whether ICE will obey a federal court order in New York.
The uncertainty of immigration law and immigration enforcement actions over the past few years is a constant worry for immigration lawyers. The immigration team at the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth constantly monitor the rapidly-evolving immigration situation with the ultimate goal of helping our clients. If you have a question about immigration and living or working legally in the United States, call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free consultation. For immigrants facing legal trouble and potential removal from the United States, we also provide criminal defense and deportation defense services.