If enacted, this bill would protect a person from civil arrest not only inside a courthouse, but while they are going to the courthouse or leaving it — an essential protection since ICE arrests are often made right outside the courthouse door, or even inside the court.
ICE’s courthouse arrests undermine public safety for all New Yorkers. Because they know they are at risk of being detained, victims of crimes — including domestic violence — and witnesses are often afraid to come forward. Housing rights advocates speak of clients who are too scared to file a complaint because of ICE’s presence in and around court.
In such cases, justice cannot be done. And our communities suffer.
According to ImmigrationImpact.com, even “non-targeted individuals” are not immune to arrest in or near a courthouse, where they might have gone to accompany a family member: “The guidance stipulates that ICE will generally not go after non-targeted individuals encountered at the courthouse—such as family members, friends, or someone serving as a witness. Yet these ‘collateral arrests’ are not prohibited.”