(New York, NY)- Legal Aid Attorneys in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens have walked out of court three times in the last week and held an emergency rallies outside the courthouses to protest the detention of their clients by Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents. In the majority of these cases, the client was set to have their case dismissed, when ICE swooped in and detained them. The first case occurred last Friday when ICE detained an immigrant of Panamanian origin and continued in the Bronx and Queens on Monday and Tuesday respectively.
The attorneys and their community allies have been mobilizing non-stop in the last few months to pressure the Office of Court Administration to change their policy around allowing the enforcement of ICE administrative warrants in the Courthouses but have received no direct response from OCA or the Chief Judge.
“We expect the Office of Court Administration to protect our clients and their right to due process. Our call to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement from our courthouses has the support of multiple defense organizations, district attorneys, legislators, community groups and immigrant communities themselves” said Association of Legal Aid Attorneys Financial Secretary/Treasurer Bret Taylor.