U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested two illegal immigrants at a Northern California courthouse Tuesday, defying California’s new state law that protects illegal immigrants from such arrests.
ICE said California’s laws do not trump federal law and “will not govern the conduct of federal officers acting pursuant to duly-enacted laws passed by Congress that provide the authority to make administrative arrests of removable aliens inside the United States.”
The federal agents made two arrests at Sonoma County Superior Court including a man detained in a hallway on his way to a hearing, ignoring the new state law that requires a judicial warrant to make immigration arrests inside such facilities.
The arrests prompted an outcry from criminal justice liberals and Californian court officials who said the action undermines local authority and “deters immigrants who are in the country illegally from participating in the U.S. justice system,” according to Associated Press.
“It’s now going to put total fear in the community,” Pozzi said in an interview with the Press Democrat. “People aren’t going to come to court. Victims will refuse to show up. Witnesses will refuse to show up … cases will have to get dismissed.”
These were repeat offenders
ICE said both illegal immigrants had been arrested by immigration officers numerous times between 2004 and 2010 and deported to Mexico in response “several times.”
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