New York State sues ICE for doing its job

New York, New York. So nice they say it twice. But not when it comes to ICE. (Save your booing. I never claimed to be a poet.)

Out in the Empire State, the Attorney General is preparing to sue Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the crime of (wait for it…) arresting illegal aliens. That’s right, folks. The government entity responsible for identifying and detaining illegal aliens and processing them for deportation is under fire for doing precisely that. It seems that Attorney General Letitia James is upset that ICE has been arresting illegals in and around courthouses in her state and that’s just not fair. (The Hill)

State and local officials on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), alleging the agency makes “unlawful and unconstitutional” civil immigration arrests in and around courthouses in New York City.

The lawsuit, filed by Attorney General Letitia James and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, claims these arrests deter witnesses from helping law enforcement and prevents victims from reporting crimes to the authorities out of fear of being detained.

“This lawsuit challenges the federal government’s recent unlawful and unconstitutional policy authorizing civil immigration arrests in and around New York State courthouses — a policy that disrupts the effective functioning of our courts, deters victims and witnesses from assisting law enforcement and vindicating their rights, hinders criminal prosecution, and undermines public safety,” the complaint reads.

We’ve seen the same complaints in California, all to little or no effect. The first thing to keep in mind is that these aren’t random sweeps or general raids. These are cases where ICE has a warrant for a specific person that they haven’t been able to track down otherwise. And given how they prioritize which illegal aliens to go after, these are almost always illegals charged with other, more serious crimes.

And why does ICE need to pick them up when they have a court date? Because New York City doesn’t allow the police to honor ICE detainers and hold them in jail until immigration officers arrive to safely take them into custody. That means they either have to track them down out in the community (which can be more dangerous) or catch up with them at the only place they can reasonably predict they will show up. In court.

Both New York City and the state have been bending over backward to make life easier for illegal aliens and tougher for immigration law enforcement for years now. Most recently, the state government approved driver’s licenses for illegals, despite polls showing a clear majority of voters in the state opposed the measure. I can’t wait to see how many of them mysteriously show up as registered voters through the error-prone motor voter program.

But in any event, the lawsuit will no doubt move forward. I find it difficult to imagine that this suit will stand up if it goes all the way to the top. The fact is that it was never technically illegal for federal agents to make arrests in or around courthouses. That was just a policy initiated under the Obama administration. That policy changed under Trump, so this lawsuit should be regarded as frivolous.

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