City Limits: “And Justice For All” Means Barring ICE from NYS Courthouses

“The “Protect Our Courts Act,” sponsored by Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages and Senator Brad Hoylman, is one way New York state can counterbalance these devastating consequences, and we have one day left in NY’s legislative session to help protect our non-citizen community members.
Thomas R. Decker, field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New York, boasts that ICE’s priority is “to target and arrest criminal aliens to remove them off the streets in the interest of public safety” as part of its  “secure communities” program. But it’s clear that the people being targeted under recent initiatives do not fall within the narrative of posing a threat to public safety. In fact, the people that have seen the highest rate of increase for ‘secure communities’ target of removals are people charged with low-level offenses, particularly traffic violations. In the name of public safety and national interest, an astonishing258,085 people–a 13 percent increase since fiscal year 2017–were forcibly removed and returned, including at the border, in fiscal year 2018. By targeting immigrants with unresolved criminal cases who should benefit from the presumption of innocence, this administration is making a dangerous, overt demonstration that any immigrant can be classified as a public risk. There is another name for this kind of policy in practice: xenophobia.”

Read the full op-ed here