ICE is upholding the law.
Via NJ Com:
New Jersey’s top judge asked Trump administration officials last month to stop arresting immigrants inside courthouses.
Now he has their response: No way.
As recently as last week, armed Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in plainclothes arrested an undocumented immigrant at the Middlesex County courthouse, Sheriff Mildred Scott told WNYC. The man was free to go – except right then, immigration agents stepped in and detained him on an undisclosed charge.
That arrest came a week after Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner pleaded with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to add courthouses to a list of “sensitive locations” that ICE avoids. Rabner wrote that “serious consequences” could result if immigrants fear that coming to court could lead to deportation. Rabner argued that witnesses, victims, and defendants may not show up to testify – making everyone less safe.
Before Trump gave ICE more discretion to arrest undocumented immigrants, attorneys say, federal agents never slipped into court to make arrests.
Two ICE arrests prompted Rabner’s initial letter. One was a March 31 incident at the Middlesex County courthouse in which an immigrant who was a victim of a crime found himself handcuffed by sheriff’s officers and turned over to ICE.[…]
New presence in court
Bayer said ICE’s new presence in the courthouse “erodes the relationship that we have with our clients.” She said immigrants may fear “they can’t communicate with us because we’re potentially in cahoots with ICE or somehow contributing to their removal.”
But was local law enforcement in cahoots with ICE? Sheriff Scott, an elected Democrat, said her officers “escorted” Xicotencatl-Toxqui to a secure area so ICE could make the arrest. She said she cannot forbid federal law enforcement agents from making an arrest inside the courthouse. “I’ve got to follow the guidelines,” she said.
Xicotencatl-Toxqui was taken to Essex County Jail, which contracts with ICE to detain immigrants. He posted bail and is now released, pending a future court date, according to his immigration attorney, Norka Schell. ICE did not have a judicial warrant to detain him, she said. She added that Xicotencatl-Toxqui is now unlikely to call police if he’s a victim of another crime.
Also this week, Schell said she was notified about an immigrant in White Plains who was charged with driving without a license. He was free to go – until ICE came into the courtroom and arrested him.
A spokesman for ICE, Luis Martinez, would not disclose the circumstances behind the New Jersey arrests. He instead issued a statement saying that ICE only makes arrests at courthouses “after investigating officers have exhausted other options.” Martinez said many of those arrested have prior criminal convictions, but he provided no information about such convictions in these cases. Arrests at courthouses, he noted, are safer because visitors are screened for weapons.