ICE plans to target undocumented immigrants at California courthouses

The ICE's plan to double down on illegal immigration enforcement in the state is set to be a big test to see how secure California's new sanctuary legislation is.


                            ICE plans to target undocumented immigrants at California courthouses

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is planning to target undocumented immigrants at local courthouses across the country, particularly in the Bay Area, California, according to reports. The federal agents have reportedly laid out new guidelines for arresting illegal immigrants in the country and KPIX 5’s Phil Matier recently chanced upon the ICE's new directive.

According to the directive, the feds plan to go after undocumented immigrants which includes reaching into the local courthouses if necessary and taking them by force, reports state. San Francisco CBS Local said that the District Attorney's Office in the region did not know about the news until the news outlet apprised them of the details. 

Hundreds of immigration activists, clergy members and others participate in a protest against President Donald Trump's immigration policies in front of the Federal Building on January 11, 2018 in New York City. (Getty Images)

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said:"I will tell you right now unequivocally, I will not cooperate. I will not sign any agreement and I want to make it very clear to our community that they will be safe when they come to us." California has already warned the ICE federal agents against conducting raids in local courts.

People demonstrate in March near the immigration court building in New York in support of people affected by deportation. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)

California, on January 1, 2018, became the first "sanctuary state" in the country to implement Senate Bill 54, which is a far-reaching measure aimed at preventing law enforcement officers from conducting illegal immigration raids. The ICE's plan to double down on illegal immigration enforcement in the state is set to be a big test to see how secure California's new sanctuary legislation is.

Members of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency keep watch over demonstrators protesting against a new Arizona law on April 30, 2010 outside of a government building which houses ICE in New York City. (Getty Images)

However, ICE agents have reiterated often since then that they can and will go into local courthouses to arrest those who have not entered the United States through legal means. A former FBI Special Agent and KPIX-5 security analyst Jeff Harp said: "What they are attempting to do is assert some authority with warrants.”

March's Solidarity Rally Against Deportation in New York City, near the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices John Moore/Getty Images

While University of California Hastings College of the Law Professor David Levine said that through these tactics, the ICE is attempting to deliver a message: "What they are trying to do is scare a lot of people."

Demonstrators, many of them recent immigrants to America, protest the government shutdown and the lack of a deal on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) outside of Federal Plaza on January 22, 2018 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauyey, in March 2017, had said that while pulling people out of courthouses was legal, there would be consequences to public safety if this is allowed. "Victims are not going to come to court. Witnesses are not going to come to testify against bad guys," Justice Cantil-Sakauyey said.

Reports state that the ICE agents will target "fugitives" with deportation orders, and will avoid arresting anyone in areas like family courts or in case of small claims.  

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