Demand an End to ICE's Courthouse Arrests in New York

New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore

New York City may be a "sanctuary city", but every day undocumented immigrants face the risk of deportation in the halls of justice. In the past year, over a hundred undocumented immigrants have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at New York's civil courthouses.

Despite public outcry, community organizing, and public defender walkouts, the New York Chief Judge and Office of Court Administration have done nothing to prohibit ICE agents from entering NY Courts.

It's time to turn up the pressure on Chief Judge DiFiore and make our voices heard. Send her a letter demanding she bars ICE from courthouses NOW!

For more information on ICE's courthouse arrests:

Petition by
Elijah Stevens
Brooklyn, New York

To: New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore
From: [Your Name]

I am writing to you to express my concern about the recent actions of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at courthouses, and urge you to modify the New York Rules of Court to restrict ICE’s presence in New York State courts.

Plainclothes ICE officers have been stalking immigrants inside of and just outside of courthouses in New York City. ICE officers are arresting people who are fulfilling their civic duty by voluntarily appearing before the court and, in some instances, ICE officers are doing so with the assistance of court officers.

ICE arrests intimidate and deter immigrants from attending court, including witnesses and victims, as well as defendants. Defendants may become fugitives rather than risk arrest and deportation, witnesses will hesitate to cooperate by testifying, and victims might think twice before reporting crimes or seeking protection orders.

Allowing courthouses to be used as traps for federal deportation agents emboldens the further victimization of immigrants in cases of workplace disputes, tenant exploitation, domestic violence, and human trafficking as it becomes clear that the law does not protect people who happen to not have legal status.

As Chief Judge, you have a responsibility to ensure that the state’s courts are accessible to one and all, and are spaces where true justice is achieved. I urge you to order court officers to stop cooperating with ICE officers who attempt to detain and arrest immigrants in your courts immediately.