The chief justice of the California Supreme Court accused federal immigration agents of “stalking undocumented immigrants” to local courthouses with the hopes of making arrests.
In a letter to Attorney Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye called on the federal government to stop arresting undocumented immigrants in California courthouses.
“Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws. Our courts are the main point of contact for millions of the most vulnerable Californians in times of anxiety, stress and crises in their lives,” she wrote Thursday, listing a number of people — including victims of crimes and sexual abuse as well as witnesses to crimes guilty of nothing more than helping law enforcement officers — who should be able to see courts as a haven of justice.
Cantil-Sakauye continued on to explain that these types of incidents can negatively impact a person’s due process.
“Enforcement policies that include stalking courthouses and arresting undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom pose no risk to public safety, are neither safe nor fair,” she said. “They not only compromise our core value of fairness but they undermine the judiciary’s ability to provide equal access to justice.”
Her letter comes amid a slew of arrests at courthouses in California, Oregon and Texas in the wake of President Trump’s promise to step up deportation efforts during his bid for the White House throughout the 2016 election. The practice of detaining illegal immigrants, however, have drawn the ire of local officials for several years.
Still though, law enforcement officials in nearby areas including Multnomah County in Oregon and El Paso Texas have similarly voiced objections to what they have labeled “raids” by immigration agents at courthouses.
Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for ICE’s Western Regional Office told NBC the agency had no comment on the letter but defended the practice of arresting undocumented persons at a courthouse.
“While ICE does arrest targets at courthouses, generally it’s only after investigating officers have exhausted other options,” she said, pointing out that law enforcement agencies often ignore ICE detainer requests.
“When criminal custody transfers occur inside the secure confines of a jail or prison, it’s far safer for everyone involved, including our officers and the person who’s being arrested.”
Jessica Schladebeck, NYDailyNews
Illegals should be arrested no matter where they are. THEY ARE ILLEGALS!! What do you think about this? Make sure you comment and share below ~ Dusty Fields SMM