Earlier today agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were at the Queens County Criminal Court House looking for at least one individual in the trafficking court: a special court for criminal defendants who are suspected of being trafficking victims. We also have credible reports that these same officers were also looking to make additional arrests in the main criminal court.
While we know that ICE attempted to arrest one person in the trafficking court, lawyers from both the Legal Aid Society of New York and Sanctuary for Families were onsite and able to prevent her from being taken into custody.
The following is a statement from Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition:
"These increasingly frequent incidents perpetuate the false narrative that all immigrants are criminals by frightening witnesses and victims, and interfering with due process. This latest incident underscores the need for the New York's Office of Court Administration to work with our communities to prevent ICE from using the criminal justice system as an unwitting accomplice. We will not make America great again by terrorizing immigrants at the expense of due process and our democratic principles."
The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.