Advocates push to keep ICE out of NY courthouses

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NEW YORK — Lawyers for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement defended the right of agents to make arrests inside New York courthouses in front of a U.S. District Court judge on Wednesday.

Advocates for undocumented immigrants being rounded up by ICE agents said the agency is not slowing down.

Attorneys for ICE said they believe ICE has the broad scope to conduct arrests in public locations, including at courthouses across the state.

Plaintiffs include a John Doe and numerous immigrants rights group,s including Make the Road and the New York Immigration Coalition. They said arrests by ICE in courthouses and nearby have skyrocketed since 2017.

The arrests have stoked fear of the judicial system, immigration rights advocates argued.

“We are confident that our claims have merit and that there’s no basis for a dismissal and that we will prevail in our fight to ensure all New Yorkers can freely access the courts without being subjected to fear and intimidation,” Jill Wagner with the Legal Aid Society said.

The next court date is in April.

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