On Tuesday, a New York courthouse saw chaos and pandemonium as nearly one hundred lawyers staged an impromptu protest. After a Legal Aid Society client was arrested, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took Genaro Rojas-Hernandez into custody.
The Brooklyn courthouse went into an uproar with members of the Legal Aid Society and the Brooklyn Defender Services protesting outside the building. Signs with obscenities were made, as well as ones which read “go away.” Chants and slogans of “Stay out, ICE!” and “Shame on you!” could be heard reverberating through the halls and down the street.
Attorney Rebecca Kavanagh told the New York Daily News Hernandez was in court to see his domestic violence charges dismissed. After the arrest, his lawyer claims the courtroom sergeant pushed her and the court officers kept her away from her defendant.
The federal agents were in the court room as Genaro’s attorney walked in. Judge Rosemarie Montalbano warned the attorney to consult with her client immediately before he is detained. Genaro, incapable of speaking English, was unable to identify the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The ICE officers proceeded to move against the 30-year-old awaiting a hearing on a domestic violence charge.
The Court Administration Office put out a statement that listed numerous legal aids as interfering with an arrest. Interfering with an arrest holds the same charge as resisting arrest. After several aids aggravated the situation, ICE had a tough decision to make.
Speaking to the professionalism of the court officers and ICE members, no one was injured. The activists who tried to prevent the arrest were not detained for the obstruction of justice. Authorities came in and peacefully removed one wanted criminal even in the face of fierce opposition.
According to the ICE officers, they notified the proper people and made sure to do it in front of an informed presiding judge. The defense attorney was allowed a statement on the record after the case was called.
The protesting parties were not content with the outcome they had witnessed. The mob marched down to the district attorney’s office. District Attorney Eric Gonzalez was enlisted to contact the State’s court and Chief Justice Janet DiFiore.
The State of New York was demanded to institute a “Sanctuary Court” ruling. This would prevent the cooperation between employees of New York Courts and federal ICE agents. As well, the policy would bar the officers from courts’ premises.
Get ICE out of court. pic.twitter.com/FHj97zcS1p
— Adrienne Wells (@AdrienneLWells) November 28, 2017
Unenthusiastic about the actions taken by the immigration enforcement task force, the district attorney put out a statement referring to the incident. Arguing that the victim will not be able to see justice for the domestic violence, Gonzalez implores ICE to stop raiding court houses.
Estimations on the number of illegal immigrants residing in the United States vary in range, but most reports put the number at slightly higher than 11 million. Since President Trump took office, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have seen much more freedom and encouragement to perform their duties.
In an attempt to remove violent offenders, the federally mandated ICE agents have been targeting court records. Since the criminal offenders are also undocumented, it can be hard for the federal government to track and locate illegal immigrants.
One of the main goals of Attorney General Jeff Sessions is to crack down on gang violence. MS-13 has become one of Americas biggest and most violent gangs. With an influence that spreads across both North and South America, their atrocities make ISIS look tame.
Drugs, arms and people come through major ports of entry every day. With ever-growing numbers, the most at-risk people of abuse from gangs are the undocumented people themselves. The Justice Department and executive agencies are working in a consorted effort to save the people of the United States.
Having federal agencies do their jobs has become a controversial topic. There should be no need to defend the men and women charged with the removal of criminal offenders. The next best solution would be to construct a wall.
Another hot topic for debate is the border wall. Secure infrastructure along our nations border is the only way to make sure all points of entry for that section can be monitored. By removing the option of long, hard dangerous expeditions through desert terrain, the safety and lives of illegal aliens can be ensured.
Statement by DA Eric Gonzalez on today's ICE enforcement in Brooklyn Criminal Court: pic.twitter.com/BijBKyhUQc
— Eric Gonzalez (@BrooklynDA) November 28, 2017