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Can ICE Detain Me If I Go to Court in New York?

Can ICE Detain Me If I Go to Court in New York?

If you are waiting for your court date and feel uneasy about a possible arrest from Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents you can now rest assured that in New York you will be protected in court buildings. The state of New York has recently issued a directive that prevent ICE officials from detaining immigrants at courthouses if they do not have a warrant issued by a judge. Our legal team at Musa-Obregon find these news highly exhilarating for our immigrant community. We have been witness of how ICE constantly strips immigrants from their rights during court citations.

According to the Immigrant Defense Project, ICE arrests have increased an incredible 1700% in the last two years across New York State. Furthermore, in their recent study “The Courthouse Trap: How ICE Operations Impacted New York’s Courts in 2018”, the number of arrests made by ICE at courthouses jumped from a mere 11 in 2016 to 178 in 2018.The recent directive issued by New York State has changed a previous protocol which stated that ICE agents could arrest immigrants with warrants signed by the Department of Homeland Security. This protocol left judges, court staff and even attorneys with very few applicable tools to protect immigrants in their due process.“This new rule will truly help protect immigrant New Yorkers from the pervasive and rampant immigration enforcement at courthouses that we have seen on a regular basis,” said Attorney-in-Chief Janet Sabel from the New York Legal Aid Society. Although the new protocol will only serve inside courthouses and will have no impact on ICE operations outside the court, it is a big step towards protecting immigrants’ rights. According to the directive, if there is any law-enforcement action made by ICE agents, court security officers must file a “unusual occurrence report”.

At Musa-Obregon we are very pleased with the state’s announcement and will make sure that our clients receive this protection during hearings.Please remember, if you need assistance with an immigration or criminal case, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team. We welcome you to schedule a free initial consultation by calling 888.502.8461 or contacting us online.


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