ICE Courthouse Arrests Spark Backlash from Prosecutors

ICE Courthouse Arrests Spark Backlash from Prosecutors

James, Queally, L.A. Times, Mar. 15, 2017 - "[I]n the past few weeks, attorneys and prosecutors in California, Arizona, Texas and Colorado have all reported teams of ICE agents — some in uniform, some not — sweeping into courtrooms or lurking outside court complexes, waiting to arrest immigrants who are in the country illegally.

ICE officials have defended the tactic, saying they make arrests in courthouses only when all other options have been exhausted. But activists, attorneys and prosecutors fear ICE’s increased presence in courthouses could deter other immigrants without legal status from appearing in court to testify as witnesses or answer warrants, which ultimately could endanger prosecutions.

San Francisco Dist. Atty. George Gascon called ICE’s forays into courthouses “very shortsighted” because some immigrants here illegally will simply avoid court for fear of being arrested.

“The chilling impact that has on an entire community is devastating,” he said."