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Board of Directors ~ 4/21/2018

Concerning ICE in the Courthouse 

New York
April 21, 2018

WHEREAS the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) continues to be committed to advancing public policies that ensure complete access to the criminal justice system for all;

WHEREAS the President of the United States, through the Executive Order issued on January 25, 2017 (“Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”), targeted immigration populations who are residing in the U.S. illegally, who have a conviction record, and/or who have otherwise violated the terms of their visa;

WHEREAS the above Executive Order threatened federal funding for those U.S. cities deemed “sanctuary cities” that “willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S. Code § 1357 - Powers of immigration officers and employees”;

WHEREAS U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Directive Number 11072.1 (“Civil Immigration Enforcement Actions Inside Courthouses”), issued January 10, 2018, directs ICE officers and agents to conduct civil immigration enforcement actions inside courthouses;

WHEREAS documented cases of ICE arrests in, immediately outside, and in route to courthouses have resulted in detention that has caused residents to miss parole obligations, drug treatment services, mental health evaluations, court hearings, and other critical services and obligations;

WHEREAS access to courts – by accused persons who are presumptively innocent, their families, supporters, and members of their communities, purported victims, and neutral witnesses – is essential to the cause of justice, public safety, and the preservation of civil society;

WHEREAS bar associations, legal services providers, and policymakers around the U.S. have documented heightened and widespread fear from resident clients that accessing the court system will lead to arrest, deportation, and/or otherwise negative immigration consequences;

WHEREAS bar associations, legal services providers, and policymakers around the U.S. have voiced their concerns with the interference in access to the judicial system that the presence of ICE agents create by carrying out the aforementioned directive;

WHEREAS members of the judiciary have formally raised concerns about the negative effects on due process and legal access that the aforementioned directive is facilitating;

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that NACDL joins bar associations, legal services providers, policymakers, and judges in calling for an immediate and complete halt to the implementation of Directive Number 11072.1, including:

  1. A directive establishing a formal, physical demarcation in and around courthouses – of all jurisdictions – and other justice system venues to be recognized as sensitive areas in which ICE activities are not to take place;
  2. A formal renunciation of any federal policy threatening to tie federal funding to a state or locality in whether that entity carries out federal immigration activities;
  3. A formal commitment from the federal government recognizing the negative consequences of pursuing immigration activities in and around court venues and to cease any and all interference with access to local and state justice system functions by ICE officials monitoring non-immigration proceedings; and
  4. An amendment to INA: ACT 287 - POWERS OF IMMIGRATION OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, guaranteeing certain “sensitive locations,’ including courthouses and their immediate vicinity, in which ICE officers are not permitted to pursue immigration duties
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