Brooklyn, NY DA Eric Gonzalez, Seattle prosecutor Dan Satterberg and former Nassau County (NY) prosecutor Meg Reiss condemn recent ICE courthouse arrests, charging they “infringe the ability of local officials to protect the rights of victims, witnesses and defendants” and threaten our democracy.
During the year ending September 30, U.S. border agents made 310,531 arrests, a decline of 24 percent from the previous year and the fewest overall since 1971. Arrests of foreigners living illegally in the U.S. surged under Trump.
Richard Ross testified in federal court in connection with Philadelphia’s lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ threat to withhold federal funding from cities that give sanctuary to undocumented immigrants.
The Trump administration arrests 498 people over four days in “Operation Safe City, targeting communities that are resisting the president’s aggressive deportation agenda. Deportations are down during the current fiscal year.
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse says requests by federal immigration authorities to detain people held in jails across the U.S. increased by nearly a third from January to March this year. Detainers were filed with 2,200 law enforcement agencies, led by Houston, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
Local courthouses have become the latest battleground in the federal government’s attempt to co-opt local criminal justice systems for immigration enforcement. The 15th-century doctrine of common-law privilege from arrest could be a useful precedent in their defense, says a University of Denver law professor.
Thomas Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that since President Trump entered office, illegal border crossings have dropped by almost 70 percent, “an historic low,” and arrests inside the country have jumped 40 percent. He calls sanctuary cities “ludicrous.”