A large group of former federal and state judges has requested that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials add courtrooms and court buildings to their list of sensitive locations. This would prevent ICE agents from detaining or arresting immigrants in these facilities. The judges sent a letter to ICE on December 12, 2018, that provided their rationale for adding courts to the short list of protected areas, which generally include hospitals, schools and places of religious observance.
A Need for Immigrants to Feel Secure
In the letter, the judges pointed out that “Judges simply cannot do their jobs — and our justice system cannot function effectively — if victims, defendants, witnesses, and family members do not feel secure in accessing the courthouse.” The letter also expressed concerns that some immigrants might be less likely to seek justice through the court system because of fears that they may be apprehended by ICE when they arrive at court. This could lead to abuse and exploitation of undocumented immigrants and might result in further charges if they stay away from required court proceedings out of fear.
Increased Activity by ICE
ICE officials have ramped up their activities to a significant degree over the last two years. According to a study conducted by the Immigrant Defense Project, ICE arrests and attempted arrests increased by 1200 percent year-to-year from 2016 to 2017 in the state of New York. This sharp increase has led to serious concerns among the immigrant community regarding their safety and security in public places, including courtrooms and other legal institutions.
The Vital Importance of Legal Support
For immigrants who may be pursuing legal recourse against others or who may be facing charges of their own, working with a qualified and knowledgeable NYC immigration lawyer can provide added help in managing these legal proceedings. Your NYC immigration lawyer can appear on your behalf in and out of court and can help you to resolve any immigration problems quickly and effectively. This can help you and your family to feel more secure in your daily activities in the U.S.
If you need the services of a NYC immigration lawyer, Pozo Goldstein can provide you with the right legal representation for a wide range of visa and residency issues. Our team is composed of experienced attorneys, including a former judge and two former immigration prosecutors. This depth of experience allows us to provide the most practical solutions for your situation. Call us today at 212-201-9031 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to the chance to meet you and your family.