Policy disallows ICE from making arrests in state courthouses without judge signature

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

A new policy now makes it illegal for ICE to arrest people inside New York state courthouses without a judicial warrant.

Terry Lawson of Bronx Legal Services has worked for this ruling with the Ice Out of Courts Coalition for two years.

"It's the first time in the country that a court has taken action, has adopted rules to say to ICE, you cannot just come in and do whatever you want," says Lawson.

The state's Office of Court Administration passed the new policy Wednesday – mandating ICE arrest warrants be signed by judges, not just another ICE agent like in the past.

Lawson says the ruling only applies inside the physical court buildings, so if you are on a sidewalk in front of a court building, the rule does not apply. She adds that the policy should go even further to protect surrounding areas.

ICE officials say the current law already goes too far, and that it undermines public safety. They say judges who would have to sign warrants are already over-burdened, and that courts offer a safe place for officers to make arrests.

 

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