By David Brand
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made more arrests in and around Queens County courts than any other county in the state except Brooklyn, according to a recent report by the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP).
As reported by the Eagle Tuesday, IDP documented arrests statewide and revealed that there were 33 documented arrests in and around Queens courts in 2018 — up from 27 in 2017. There were 35 documented arrests in Brooklyn, up from 32 last year.
A spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that there have been “relatively few” arrests in and around the criminal courthouse.
“Despite the public attention, there have been relatively few instances of ICE making arrests in and around the courthouse,” the spokesperson said. “As far as making arrests in the courthouse, ICE agents appears to be complying with the court directive of identifying themselves to court personnel and stating their purpose.”
That statement did not sit well with several immigrants rights advocates in Queens, including Anthony Posada, The Legal Aid Society’s Supervising Attorney with the Community Justice Unit at The Legal Aid Society.
“The Queens District Attorney is clearly out of touch with what is going on in the borough between ICE and the immigrant community,” Posada said. “ICE continues endangering our communities by using courthouses as traps, undermining our judicial system, denying immigrant New Yorkers justice — and this creates a real fear that is very much a daily reality in immigrant-rich Queens.”
“Queens is the most diverse borough in the country and its due time that the local District Attorney start paying attention to the needs of the borough’s immigrant communities.” Posada continued.