Immigration Law

NY Bars ICE Arrests in State Courthouses: Directive (Apr. 17, 2019)

Mallory Moench, Times Union, Apr. 18, 2019

"ICE can no longer arrest undocumented immigrants inside New York courthouses unless they have a warrant signed by a judge. The New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA) signed its new rule change Wednesday, making New York the first state to do so. 

Lucian Chalfen, OCA's director of public information, said the agency felt it "would be an appropriate change in policy" after the release of an 80-page report by more than 100 organizations last week that documented how ICE courthouse arrests impact the criminal justice system. As ICE arrests at New York courts increased in the past two years, crimes reported by undocumented immigrant victims and witnesses willing to testify decreased, the report said.

... The directive signed by Michael Magliano, department chief for the office of the chief administrative judge that oversees OCA, stated that ICE must obtain a judicial warrant to make an arrest or observe an individual inside a New York courthouse. The warrant has to be signed by a federal judge with a probable cause that the target for arrest is deportable, then reviewed by a New York state court official, a supervisor, and the local judge. 

The directive reaffirmed previous OCA policy that required law enforcement officials to identify themselves and inform judges if a defendant in their court is a target.

OCA policy applies to state courts at the city level and above. Town and village courts still make their own rules."