The New York State Attorney General and acting Brooklyn District Attorney recently called for a halt to actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents that are hampering the operations of state and local courts. By appearing in courthouses nationwide in order to detain individuals who show up for court in unrelated legal proceedings, ICE officers are impeding those proceedings. This is particularly the case for individuals who are witnesses scheduled to testify in court, crime victims, and perpetrators of low-level criminal offenses. Under the Obama administration, a courthouse was generally seen as a sort of “safe zone” or “sensitive location,” so that individuals could conduct necessary business without questions regarding their immigration statuses. Other traditionally sensitive locations include churches, schools, and hospitals. Now, the Trump administration evidently has reversed the “sensitive location” policy, which has drawn sharp criticism from immigrations advocates and lawyers nationwide. As a result, claims the acting Brooklyn District Attorney, witnesses are refusing to come forward out of fear of deportation. Similar scenarios have played out across the country, with some immigrants even keeping their children out of school and failing to seek necessary medical care, not willing to risk the potential for deportation. The New York Office of Court Administration (OCA), however, disagrees. A spokesperson for that office claims that the presence of federal ICE agents in courthouses has had no noticeable effects on court operations or people coming to court as ordered. OCA claimed that it has been monitoring the potential impact of ICE agents in New York courthouses since earlier this year. OCA also claimed that it had requested ICE to treat courthouses as sensitive locations, as it had done in the past. According to Immigration Defense Project data, though, there have been 53 arrests and another 10 attempted arrests in New York courthouses this year so far. This figure compares with 11 total arrests in 2016, and 14 total arrests in 2015. When you or a loved one are detained and face deportation for any reason, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is here to help. We care about you, your family, and your ability to remain in the U.S. As a result, our California deportation defense lawyers stand ready to build the strongest possible deportation defense case on your behalf. Contact your Oakland immigration lawyer today and learn how we can advocate for you and your family in your deportation proceedings.