The Immigrant Defense Project closely monitors ICE activity at state courthouses in New York and around the country. From January 2017 through December 2018, IDP documented an alarming 1700% increase in ICE arrests and attempted arrests across New York State. In 2018, IDP documented 219 such incidents—a 27% increase over 2017 (updated to reflect additional reports received). In the first ten months of 2019, IDP received reports of 112 arrests and attempted arrests–more than a tenfold increase from 2016. ICE courthouse arrests have continued, despite the implementation of court rules by the New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA), prohibiting ICE from arresting individuals in state courthouses without a judicial warrant or judicial order. The consequent threats to universal access to justice and to public safety are tremendous, as immigrant communities become too afraid to seek justice in criminal, family, and civil courts.
To learn more about the impact of ICE enforcement in New York’s courts, read our report, “The Courthouse Trap: How ICE Operations Impacted New York’s Courts in 2018” and the ICE Out of Courts Coalition report “Safeguarding the Integrity of Our Courts: The Impact of ICE Courthouse Operations in New York State.”
In October 2019, Ceres Policy Research issued “The Chilling Effect of ICE Courthouse Arrests: How Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Raids Deter Immigrants from Attending Child Welfare, Domestic Violence, Adult Criminal, and Youth Court Hearings.” Based on surveys of 1000 people who were immigrants or had immigrant family members, the study found that ICE courthouse arrest activity has had a significant impact on court participation and perception of the justice system. See more details in the executive summary.
Our ICE Out of the Courts website provides updated statistics and information about ICE’s courthouse arrest policies, media coverage and materials from the campaign, and resources for bringing campaigns to other states.