Applauds Call From NY Attorney General and Brooklyn District Attorney to End Raids

New York, NY, August 3, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today applauded and joined Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s call to end immigration enforcement raids in state courts by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ADL expressed deep concern about the significant escalation in ICE courthouse presence and arrests, owing to the current Administration’s deportation policy, and the impact in the state’s courts and immigrant communities.

“We have fought for just and humanitarian immigration policies for over one hundred years and it is in this vein that we express deep concern over the escalation in ICE courthouse arrests,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “This practice threatens to have a chilling effect and deter individuals from visiting courthouses and making use of our justice system.”

Mr. Bernstein added, “We feel that courthouses should be treated as sensitive areas, like churches or schools.”

Reports indicate that ICE arrests and attempted arrests in courthouses have surged approximately five-fold in 2017, relative to 2016. Immigrant and victim advocates report increased fear of the courts and fear of calling police due to fears of immigration enforcement.

ADL has expressed opposition to ICE enforcement actions at New York State courthouses through several avenues. In June, ADL participated in a New York City Council joint oversight hearing on ICE Enforcement in New York City Courts held by the Committee on Courts and Legal Services and the Committee on Immigration. The testimony urged the City Council to preserve equal access to our justice system through limiting ICE activity and arrests in New York courthouses.

ADL has also joined a campaign coordinated by the Immigrant Defense Project urging the Chief Judge and Chief Administrative Judge of the Unified Court System of New York to take steps to stop ICE enforcement actions at New York state courthouses and preserve equal access to the justice system.