04:39 GMT26 May 2020
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    Thanks to a wave of laws that limits police departments in cities throughout the country from cooperating with Immigration Customs Enforcement agents, ICE officials are taking some unusual measures to meet their 34,000-a day quote for deporting illegal immigrants.

    ICE agents are commonly targeting courthouses to pick up illegal immigrants facing criminal charges.

    In one instance, a defense lawyer fought to keep her client in a New York City jail, just to keep him away from ICE.

    That case involves Teddy Irving, who went to court to fight a felony charge, a deportable offense. After the judge said Irving was free to go, the defendant’s attorney fought for the judge to set bail and have Irving taken into custody. In the courthouse, were two plainclothes ICE agents who had tried to detain Irving in the hallways of the court.  

    Eventually, the judge allowed Irving to be taken into custody.  

    Arrests of illegal immigrants by ICE agents at court houses are rising according to defense lawyers and advocates.

    “ICE is trying to create an environment where it becomes incredibly difficult for cities to pass laws that lower their levels of cooperation with them," Mizue Aizeki, deputy director of the Immigrant Defense Project told VICE news. "What they're saying is, 'Well, you didn't want us to take them from the police or the jails, so we're going to take them from their home, or the courthouses.'"

    In 2014, New York City and other municipalities passed laws that hindered law enforcement from cooperating with ICE. For example, the city no longer holds people for up to 48 hours after their release date until ICE agents could determine their immigration status.

    This measure forced ICE to set its sights on court houses. According to immigration advocates, ICE often targets illegal immigrants who made deportable offenses decades ago or those who have committed minor crimes such as petty larceny.

    "ICE is picking people up at the courthouse for things they did maybe 30 years ago, where they now have kids, they have a family here, they're completely rehabilitated and have full-time jobs, and none of that is being taken into consideration by ICE," said Brooklyn Defender Services Sarah Vendzules in an interview with VICE.

    ICE now is barred from obtaining information about “non-citizens” from the NYPD or DOC without a judicial warrant. So, they are now looking at court rolls and other sources to find potential offenders fit for deportation.


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    deportation, immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, Mizue Aizeki, Teddy Irving, New York City
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