Home New York National Sports Calendar

Judge greenlights suit challenging ICE arrests at NY courts

New York State Attorney General, Letitia James.
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge denied the U.S. government’s request Thursday to toss out a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests in New York courthouses.

U.S. District Judge, Jed Rakoff said he was rejecting the government’s arguments that suggested the arrests were “none of this Court’s business and second, that even if it is, the common law privilege against courthouse arrests doesn’t apply to ICE.”

The lawsuit contended that ICE arrests in courthouses have skyrocketed since President Donald Trump took office.

A Justice Department spokesman declined comment.

The judge, who heard oral arguments in the case last month, noted that lawyers for New York state said civil arrests in or around New York state courthouse had risen “by a remarkable 1,700 percent or more.”

“Court cannot be expected to function properly if third parties (not least the executive branch of the government) feel free to disrupt the proceedings and intimidate the parties and witnesses by staging arrests for unrelated civil violations in the courthouse, on court properly, or while the witnesses or parties are in transit to or from their court proceedings,” Rakoff wrote.

The judge said over 500 years ago, the English courts developed a common law privilege against civil arrests on courthouse premises.

“This ancient privilege, incorporated into American law in the early years of our republic by virtually all state and federal courts, has remained largely intact over the centuries,” Rakoff said.

Last month, the judge said he found the federal government’s assertions that its policies regarding courthouse arrests can’t be reviewed by a federal judge to be “unusual and extraordin­ary.”

New York’s attorney general, the Brooklyn district attorney and several immigrant advocates’ groups had sued ICE over its policy changes.

They praised the ruling.

“Our state courts cannot function with ICE attempting to arrest parties, witnesses, and victims who rely on our courts for relief,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “Today’s ruling ensures we will get our day in court to make the case that ICE’s policies are nothing more than illegal maneuvers that harm our state’s ability to provide justice through the court system.”

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said the arrests jeopardize public safety because they have a “chilling effect in immigrant communities and discourages cooperation with law enforcement.”

Posted 4:54 pm, December 27, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: