Bronx Defenders, Legal Aid Issue Joint Statement on ICE Courthouse Arrest


APRIL 9, 2018 (BRONX, N.Y.) – The Bronx Defenders and The Legal Aid Society issued the following joint statement this afternoon after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested and detained a client of The Legal Aid Society once his criminal case was dismissed, prompting a walkout and protest by public defenders of The Legal Aid Society and The Bronx Defenders:

“We have repeatedly called attention to the presence of Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) officials in our courthouses, and how it poses an immediate threat to our entire legal process and the principles upon which our criminal justice system stands. We have also repeatedly demanded that Chief Judge Janet DiFiore take action to prevent ICE from entering our courthouses and that she issue a directive prohibiting court staff from cooperating with ICE. And yet, we continue to witness firsthand ICE officers turning our courthouses into immigration enforcement zones and denying New Yorkers their constitutional right to seek their day in court.

And so, as public defenders responsible for providing legal representation to hundreds of thousands of people across New York City, we will continue to demand today and every day, that immigrants are afforded their rights to go to court to fight the charges against them, to request due process and to seek justice.”

Anna Kim, The Bronx Defenders ( 718-838-7890

Redmond Haskins, The Legal Aid Society ( 929-441-2384