You are reading

Cuomo Signs Bill Preventing ICE Agents From Making Arrests at State Court Houses

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Flickr)

Dec. 16, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Tuesday that bars federal immigration officers from making arrests inside or outside state courthouses without a warrant – a move hailed by immigration advocates.

The Protect Our Courts Act seeks to address concerns that undocumented immigrants were being targeted for immigration offenses by ICE agents while attending state court. This tactic, advocates said, deterred them from attending court and was therefore impeding justice proceedings.

“Unlike this federal government, New York has always protected our immigrant communities,” Cuomo said. “This legislation will ensure every New Yorker can have their day in court without fear of being unfairly targeted by ICE or other federal immigration authorities.”

The legislation, which passed in July and was co-sponsored by State Sen. Michael Gianaris, prevents federal immigration authorities from making arrests inside or outside state courthouses without a warrant signed by a federal judge. The law prevents ICE from arresting immigrants going to or leaving a court proceeding.

The law does not prohibit an arrest warrant that has been authorized by a judge. Instead, it blocks warrantless immigration-related arrests or those based on administrative warrants.

Immigration advocates say that ICE agents have been increasingly showing up at courthouses to target people who were appearing in non-immigration cases – either as a party, witness, or family member. They say that such instances have increased under the Trump administration.

For example, a report by the immigrant group The Immigrant Defense Project found that there were 176 arrests and attempted arrests at New York courthouses in 2019 compared to just 15 in 2016 – the year before Trump took office.

Make The Road New York, an immigrant advocacy group with an office in Jackson Heights, said that the law marks a critical win for New York immigrants and will protect them from President Donald Trump’s “deportation machine.”

“It puts an end to its abusive tactics that instilled fear and hindered immigrants from full equal access to our courts,” the group said in a statement Tuesday.

email the author:


Click for Comments 
Allow me to retort

He didn’t dodge the draft, he had a legit medical condition.

If he was a tax evader, don’t you think the IRS would have made an issue of it? They are quite a large and powerful government agency btw. Wealthy people don’t get that way by paying more in taxes than they are legally obliged to. You don’t like that, take it up with your congressional representative. They are the ones who write tax law. Trump is guilty of having smart accountants, that’s all.

Let me guess: you take all the tax deductions you’re entitled to as well.

Sorry to confuse you with the facts.

Operation Bone Spurs

Trump was playing football in college with his “bone spurs.” The doctor that said he had them? A tenant of Fred Trump’s. WOW you’re gullible.

Trump literally brags that he only pay $350 in taxes.

Let ‘em in?

Our country deserves and needs a comprehensive immigration policy something nighter political party has proposed for say 15 years. Illegal immigrants of all economic levels is aware of the consequences of disobeying our laws. Many of us know and rabidly support (emotionally anyway) (never pay social security taxes for house keepers, babysitters, day laborers, etc.)…I believe in the wall! If the country wants to accept refugees from the south (and many of them are Asian, African, not just Hispanic) I believe they should be detained until they learn the English/American language along with quality schooling for their children……speaking the lingua Franca is the key to economic justice. How many day laborers, maids, etc have been here for years trapped in off the books low paying no benefit jobs……health care..taxpayer (that’s you) paid Medicaid. Knee jerk reactions like keep them Is false charity. You are being STUPID with this kind of support. How many immigrants died of COVID because they huddled together in mixed family homes because YOU underpaid them. The country needs a growing young tax paying work force to support your social security. Talk of reducing or delaying benefits is here and now!

Tree of Liberty

Thank God our founding fathers gave us a option for us to protect us from our government. And that’s the 2nd amendment.

Trumps Sudafed Stash

Draft dodging and Tax evasion are illegal. As is the hiring of Illegal Polish laborers to help build Trump Tower.

Dear Anged

Many contractors and businesses hire illegals. Our immigration laws allow illegal immigrants to work the system, they know what they’re doing and so do businesses. Maybe if our politicians would not encourage illegal immigration and allow sanctuary cities protection, businesses would not have a cheap labor force and hire Americans or legal immigrants. At least TRUMP as President tried to close immigration loopholes.

Someone should really build a border wall, huh?

You’re blaming sanctuary cities? Trump promised to defund them, 4 years ago.
Insecure borders? Trump promised Mexico would pay for a wall, 4 years ago.

You fell for it…and want to blame the people that didn’t?


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: grand larcenies down across borough, rapes halved in the north, robberies decrease in the south

Apr. 17, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of grand larcenies across Queens was down during the 28-day period from March 18 to April 14, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Monday. At the same time, rapes and robberies decreased significantly in northern and southern Queens, respectively.