Stop Arresting Undocumented Immigrants in Courthouses

Target: Jeff Sessions, U.S. Attorney General

Goal: Stop the stalking and arrest of undocumented immigrants in courthouses.

To deport more immigrants under President Trump’s orders, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has resorted to staking out courthouses to find and detain immigrants. This dangerous new initiative leads to the detention of immigrants who have not committed serious crimes or who are seeking legal justice. Those in danger include immigrants filing a restraining order against an abusive partner or serving as witnesses to help solve crimes – people who are not breaking laws but aiding in upholding them. Everyone in the U.S., regardless of their legal status, deserves to feel that they can rely on our justice system to serve them fairly, and arresting immigrants in courthouses only makes a mockery of their purpose. Indeed, it threatens the ability of law enforcement to solve crimes and prevent them from happening.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has made it a priority to deport undocumented immigrants suspected of having committed a crime. This definition includes most undocumented immigrants, who may use a fake Social Security number or drive without a license (both crimes) to go about their daily lives. Targeting such a broad range of immigrants makes them less likely to seek government services, and thus less likely to do things that actually help cut crime, like serving as witnesses or seeking reprieve from abusers. Already cities like Denver and Austin are reporting a drop in the number of immigrants reporting domestic abuse, and in Los Angeles, reports of sexual assault have decreased by 20 percent among Latinos (despite not changing for other races).

As more immigrants are being arrested in courthouses, the California state Supreme Court and prosecutors have asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to put an end to these violations of human rights. However they have been rebuked by an administration steadfast in its pursuit of removing immigrants by any means necessary. Sign this petition to join the call for an end to these arrests, and tell the U.S. Attorney General to seek real criminal justice, rather than mere ideological gratification.


Dear Attorney General Sessions,

Since taking office, your direction of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement force has resulted in an increase in arrests of undocumented immigrants in courthouses.  While this new initiative may seem like a good way to keep police safe from potential threats, it undermines their ability to do their job. In reality, it makes immigrants less likely to aid law enforcement. To make matters worse, some immigrants who have been detained are seeking reprieve from domestic abusers; for these people, courts are one of few remaining places to safely seek protection from assault. By taking this safe space away from them, you are depriving people of justice, not serving it.

In recent months, a number of cities have reported drops in the rate of immigrants reporting domestic abuse. For example, Los Angeles has seen an unparalleled 20 percent decrease in reports of sexual assault among Latinos. The policies your administration is pursuing are having a real, measurable effect on the country. I understand that the new initiative is in part designed to protect law enforcement from being harmed in the line of duty, but pursuing immigrants in courthouses will only increase unreported crime while decreasing the number of witnesses who can help lead to convictions. I urge you to stop the arrests of undocumented immigrants in courthouses in order to protect those seeking justice, to help law enforcement prevent and solve crime, and to preserve the sanctity of our sacred courts.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz

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One Comment

  1. This witch hunt needs to be stopped.

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