State AG, Brooklyn DA want ICE to stop courthouse arrests

Posted: Updated:

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has joined acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez to ask U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop raids and arrests in New York courthouses.

Arrests by ICE agents within courts have gone up nearly fivefold since last year, according to the Kings County District Attorney's Office.

Schneiderman is asking ICE to treat courthouses as sensitive locations, similar to houses of worship and schools. He says all residents should have access to equal justice, adding that 23 percent of the state's population was born in another country.

Schneiderman and Gonzalez believe the arrests could discourage people from pursuing justice.

"Fear of deportation stops witnesses from coming forward, stops victims from coming forward and participating and supporting our legal process," Schneiderman says.

"No matter how hard you try to do the right thing, no matter how brave you are in coming forward to help the district attorney's will still be held in detention and be subject to deportation," says Gonzalez.

An ICE spokesperson tells News 12: "Courthouse visitors are typically screened upon entry to search for weapons and other contraband, the safety risks for the arresting officers and for the arrestee inside such a facility are substantially diminished. As such, ICE plans to continue arresting individuals in courthouse environments as necessary, based on operational circumstances."

Both Schneiderman and Gonzalez say they will continue opposing policies that interfere with the legal system and provide as much protection for undocumented immigrants as possible.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."