Attorneys from Queens Law Associates and the Legal Aid Society of New York walked out of court on April 9 and 10, 2018, in response to actions taken by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the courtroom setting. These protests were intended to draw attention to the plight of those who attend court proceedings in accordance with the law and are taken into custody by ICE on unrelated charges. New York’s Office of Court Administration promptly acted to reassign 10 of the cases left behind by these lawyers, citing concerns that the walkout would disrupt regular court operations.
The Concept of Sensitive Locations
Many legal advocates believe that courtrooms should be treated as sensitive locations that should not be targeted by agents of ICE. Traditionally, hospitals, schools and places of worship have been given a wide berth by ICE officials. These distinctions, however, have been deteriorating in recent months as the hardline position of the Trump administration finds its way down the chain of command at ICE and other immigration agencies.
An Ongoing Battle
Despite a state prohibition against ICE arrests inside courtrooms, officials of the agency are still allowed to arrest and detain individuals in hallways or outside the courthouse. According to ICE, these practices arise because of the added safety afforded to their agents in courthouses. Making these arrests in a secured courthouse rather than in the community at large can provide ICE agents with added confidence when apprehending individuals suspected of illegal entry or overstaying their visas in the U.S.
Taking Action to Protect Immigrants
Working with a qualified New York immigration lawyer can typically reduce the risks to individuals going to court over minor legal matters and can provide increased peace of mind for those seeking to remain in the country legally. An experienced and knowledgeable Immigration attorney in new York New York is the best source of guidance and information for immigrants and their families in correcting any issues with their legal status and establishing a pathway to lawful permanent residency and citizenship.
At Pozo Goldstein, our New York immigration lawyers can provide you with expert advice, counsel and representation to help you manage issues with ICE and other federal agencies. We have two former immigration prosecutors and a former judge on our team, allowing you to enjoy greater confidence when working with us. Call Pozo Goldstein today at 212-201-9031. We look forward to the chance to help you and your family realize the American dream for yourselves.