Judge tries to put shackles on ICE

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Thursday, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye made it known that she does not approve of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents waiting outside of courtrooms to deport illegal aliens.

Cantil-Sakauye stated her desires for ICE agents to stop “stalking undocumented immigrants” at courthouses ranging from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Chief John Kelly, Cantil-Sakauye wrote, “Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.”

“Enforcement policies that include stalking courthouses and arresting undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom pose no risk to public safety, are neither safe nor fair,” the letter continued. “They not only compromise our core value of fairness but they undermine the judiciary’s ability to provide equal access to justice. I respectfully request that you refrain from this sort of enforcement in California’s courthouses.”

At the beginning of the year, Cantil-Sakauye said she was informed through the grapevine that ICE agents were detaining illegal aliens following the conclusion of trial procedures.

“Her colleagues have been saying there have been instances when, during a hearing, there would be agents within the courtroom, then they’d make an arrest and detain someone after a hearing,” said Cathal Conneely of the Judicial Council of California.

Tani Cantil-Sakauye (Credit: Sacramento Bee)

Tani Cantil-Sakauye (Credit: Sacramento Bee)

“The chief justice is not in any way questioning the right or authority of the U.S. attorney general or the Department of Homeland Security to do what they’re doing, she’s just raising concern with the judicial branch of California that this is taking place within courthouses and courtrooms.”

In regards to the alleged ICE practice, Cantil-Sakauye said, “The presence of immigration officers at courthouses, and the perception that people could face deportation when showing up in legal settings, could have a profound impact on public safety.”

Amid reports of ICE agents grabbing illegal aliens outside of courtrooms and the agency’s revitalized efforts to detain undocumented immigrants, Cantil-Sakauye constructed a “working group” on Feb 1 as a resource for illegal immigrants facing court proceedings.

“Any judiciary relies on public trust and confidence,” said Conneely. “There is concern that this may be chilling the willingness of Californians to go to court because they’re concerned about what might happen there.”

H/T: Sacramento Bee

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