December 20, 2017
This week NYLAG joined fellow legal service providers, public defenders and elected officials in signing a letter to New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore asking that all US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents be banned from New York’s courthouses. Our request follows a dramatic increase in arrests of immigrants going to court for a variety of unrelated issues. As a result, there are reports –corroborated by what our own clients are telling us – of victims who are afraid to report crimes and witnesses unwilling to appear in court. As long as a court appearance puts people at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation they are deprived of due process under the law, effective assistance of counsel and the right to defend themselves.