Activists, lawyers call for ban on ICE agents in courtrooms

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BROOKLYN -

The presence of immigration enforcement agents in courthouses has sparked outrage among activists and public defense lawyers, who are calling to ban them from such buildings.

Those coming together against Immigration and Customs Enforcement demanded New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore take action to keep agents away.

ICE pushed back, telling News 12 that courthouse arrests are safer because of security screenings required to enter buildings.

They added that they don't consider courthouses to be "sensitive locations."

A spokesperson for the state courts said in a statement that court officers are not complicit, do not coordinate with, facilitate or impede actions by outside law enforcement, including ICE agents, when they make an arrest inside New York state courthouses.

Frustrations for those calling for a ban hit a new level last week when they say someone was detained by ICE agents during a routine court appearance.

They say that such actions send the wrong message to the public and deter people from participating in the judicial system.

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