A recent Chicago Tribune article details the story of Christian Gomez Garcia, who went to traffic court in Cook County’s Skokie branch court to deal with a traffic ticket. As he left the room. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested him and sent him to an immigration detention center in Wisconsin, ostensibly with the intention of initiating deportation proceedings. Two days later, after the man’s lawyer and mother appeared at a news conference in front of the courthouse, federal authorities relented and released the man from detention. As it turns out, Gomez Garcia arrived in the U.S. at the age of four, accompanied by his mother. He is now 29 years old, and formerly was a participant in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. His eligibility for DACA, however, lapsed due to errors made on his renewal application. While it is unclear why federal authorities chose to release Gomez Garcia, his attorney believes that since he still can file a DACA renewal application, ICE officials realized that they should not have detained him in the first place. Immigration advocates criticize ICE for carrying out arrests of immigrants in courthouses. Not only does the practice discourage immigrants from utilizing and participating in the justice system, but it targets law-abiding, productive members of American society. Gomez Garcia, for instance, helps financially support his mother, and is enrolled in a junior college real estate program. Immigration officials, however, maintain that courthouse arrests are far safer than those made in public, since individuals already have been screened for weapons. While it is unclear how common the practice of courthouse immigration arrests is, there have been reports in these arrests, particularly in larger cities, whereas the previous administration generally considered courthouses to be off-limits for ICE agents. Whether you live in a sanctuary city or simply have a pending deportation case, we are here to help. The deportation defense lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. have handled countless deportation defense claims on behalf of individuals who have been detained and charged with removal. We know how devastating it can be for individuals to be detained and separated from their families. We care about you and your family, and we want to help you remain in the country. Call our office today to set up your legal consultation.