Almost 70 former state and federal judges have signed a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Ronald Vitiello asking that they stop arresting illegal immigrants at courthouses.
The letter claims that the arrests instill fear and get in the way of the criminal justice system, but ICE says they only target gang members or people who have already been ordered to leave at courthouses.
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“We know firsthand that for courts to effectively do justice, ensure public safety, and serve their communities, the public must be able to access courthouses safely and without fear of retribution,” the judges wrote.
The former judges also call for other “sensitive places” like schools and places of worship to be treated as sanctuary zones.
According to a report from the Hill, “ICE arrests increased in 2018 under President Trump, compared with the same period in 2017. Arrests of undocumented immigrants rose 17 percent in the first three fiscal quarters of 2018.”
ICE has not responded to the letter.