U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s increasing presence in New York courts has had a “chilling effect” on immigrant survivors of violence, advocates claim in a survey reported by the New York Daily News. In a statewide survey by the Immigrant Defense Project, one-third of respondents said they had spotted ICE officers, as well as agency vehicles, around state courts, including in New York City’s five boroughs. Forty-four people reports having clients arrested by ICE arrested in state courts.
Seventy percent of advocates working with immigrant violent crime victims said they have had clients who are afraid to get help in court because of ICE’s increased presence there. More than half of that group said they had clients who didn’t seek orders of protection because they fear ICE. The same percentage of advocates said they had clients who didn’t seek a certification proving they were victims of violent crime. Without the certification, they can’t access a special visa program for victims of violent crime. This has had a “chilling effect on survivors of violence,” the Immigrant Defense Project contends.