By David Brand
Six people have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents inside courthouses in New York City so far this year, according to information provided by the Office of Court Administration. Those six arrests account for all arrests inside courthouses across the state, OCA said.
OCA tracks the arrests inside state courthouses and said ICE provided judicial warrants in each instance. Every courthouse arrest in the state occurred in NYC. An April directive by OCA mandates that ICE agents provide a warrant signed by a judge when making an arrest inside a courthouse.
The most recent arrest inside a courthouse occurred in Queens Criminal Court on June 17. ICE agents arrested a man after presenting a judicial warrant from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York with federal indictment indicated as the reason for the warrant, according to OCA.
OCA spokesperson Lucian Chalfen said the agency tracks the arrests closely and engages in “a continuing dialogue with Immigration and Customs officials both on the local and national levels.”
“In January of 2018, as a direct result of our communications with ICE officials, ICE issued a formalized policy regarding potential arrest situations in courthouses,” Chalfen said. “Even before our April 2019 Directive regarding agents needing a Federal Warrant, agents began to limit arrests to individuals with active Federal Warrants.”
“We continue to monitor the situation and are mindful of their activities not having an effect on courthouse operations,” Chalfen said.
The five other ICE arrests inside courthouses all occurred in NYC. One man was arrested in New York County Supreme Court when ICE agents presented a judicial warrant indicating that the man had an open federal warrant on April 30.
On April 16, a man was arrested in Kings County Criminal Court after ICE agents presented a judicial warrant indicating that there was a federal indictment against the man.
On March 21, a man was arrested by ICE at Bronx Criminal Court after agents presented a judicial warrant indicating that there was a federal criminal complaint against the man. Another man was arrested at Bronx Criminal Court on Jan. 24 when ICE agents presented a judicial warrant also indicating that there was a federal criminal complaint issued against him.
The first courthouse ICE arrest of the year occurred on Jan. 9. ICE agents arrested a woman in New York Criminal Court after presenting a judicial warrant indicating that there was federal warrant open against her.
Another man was arrested in Kings County Criminal Court on April 16 when ICE presented a judicial warrant which listed a federal indictment as the reason for the warrant.
Dozens of ICE arrests have occurred outside courthouses in NYC and across the state over the past two years, however.
More than 200 immigrants were detained by ICE in and around courthouses statewide in 2018, according to a report by the Immigrant Defense Project
At least 33 people were arrested by ICE in and around Queens courthouses in 2018, IDP reported. Only Brooklyn, with 35, had more ICE courthouse arrests than Queens.
In April, Queens resident Alma Centeno Santiago, a pregnant mother of two, was arrested by ICE agents outside Queens Family Court and detained at a New Jersey jail, where she developed severe stomach problems.
Centeno Santiago’s family and attorney said she could be deported as early as today.
Another man was arrested by outside Queens Criminal Courthouse on January 16, according to several attorneys present in the area who sent the Eagle photos of the arrest.