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Getting ICE Out of the Courts

Employment

Getting ICE Out of the Courts

Date Posted: 
09/07/2018

Recognizing the critical need to ensure that everyone has access to the courts, regardless of immigration status, CLS has been working with the ICE Out of Courts Coalition—a group made up legal service providers and community-based organizations in Philadelphia.

Recent immigration enforcement actions in and around Philadelphia’s court houses and other parts of our justice system have created an atmosphere of fear that acts as a significant barrier to justice for immigrants in Philadelphia. Even documented immigrants are afraid to come forward for fear of being picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), meaning witnesses, defendants, victims, supportive family members, or simply members of the public are unable to access the court system.

In response, the Coalition has met with officials from the City, the First Judicial District (the Courts), the Police Department, and Adult Probation and Parole to propose and recommend policies (see below) aimed at preventing ICE from picking people up—usually without a judicial warrant—in our courthouses or in conjunction with our probation officers. These policies would protect immigrants and nonimmigrants in Philadelphia alike, and ensure that our justice system can function properly, without interference from immigration authorities.