Arresting Illegal Aliens At Courthouses Undermines Democracy Or Something

Arresting Illegal Aliens At Courthouses Undermines Democracy Or Something

The New York Times gives César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, a tenured associate professor of law at the University of Denver, who is big into protecting people who are unlawfully present in the United States, a platform to fear-monger. He thinks that

ICE’s Courthouse Arrests Undercut Democracy

At the door of the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver one Friday in April, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents tackled a man to the ground. A chilling video shows the man — who, according to his lawyer, was there to deal with a traffic ticket — yelling “No!” “My hand!” and “Why?” in Spanish. Sheriff’s deputies order passers-by to stand back, and the violent arrest continues.

Except, the video does not actually show anything but the illegal alien on the ground being arrested. It does not show him being tackled. However, he was certainly taken to the ground, which usually occurs when the arrestee resists.

This type of arrest is on the rise. Lawyers and judges in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington all reported in the first year of the Trump administration that immigration officials were breaking with tradition to descend upon their courthouses. Such arrests in New York have increased by 900 percent in 2017, according to the Immigration Defense Project.

This is a deeply worrisome trend because arrests at courthouses don’t just derail the lives of the unsuspecting people who are detained, they threaten the very operation of our judicial system. Such arrests scare people away from the courts, keeping them, for example, from testifying at trials or seeking orders of protection. By using this tactic, the nation’s lead immigration law enforcement agency is undermining a pillar of our democracy.

By “scare people”, he’s referring to illegal aliens. As for “unsuspecting people”, well, every single illegal should have a clue that they could be detained by law enforcement at any time for being unlawfully present. Personally, I’m more concerned with safeguarding our law enforcement folks over the feelings of illegal aliens. There is a much lower chance that an illegal will be armed at a courthouse, versus getting them out in the streets, their homes, where they work, etc.

Courthouse arrests by ICE deter not only undocumented immigrants but also people who are here legally but are nervous that they might have somehow compromised their status (or that an officer will think they have). That’s a nuance that is next to impossible for the average person to discern, and those complicated legal questions are exactly what immigration judges spend a lot of energy trying to answer.

Really? People who are here legally should know if their status is compromised.

In El Paso, ICE arrested a woman moments after she requested a court’s help keeping away an abusive partner. Fear and uncertainty caused by this type of courthouse arrest are already keeping people away from the halls of justice.

Hernandez forgets to mention that she was a previously deported illegal. Six times. After arrests for crimes including possession of stolen mail, false imprisonment, domestic assault, and assault.

Regardless Hernandez goes on and on, but, never actually makes a case that detaining illegals at courthouses undercuts democracy. Just that he’s upset that ICE would arrest illegal aliens.

The harm this causes is bigger than the people whom ICE arrests. United States citizens are not immune to the impact of ICE activity in courthouses. All of us — including those of us who could easily prove our immigration status — depend on courts to do their job, and all of us suffer if the fear of ICE keeps people away.

The last time I was in a courthouse was about 8 years ago, for jury duty. Beyond that, for a speeding ticket (that was thrown out) almost 20 years ago. The notion that ICE would be there to arrest illegal aliens wouldn’t deter me in the least. How about you?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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