Lawsuits Filed to Stop ICE Courthouse Arrests

September 25, 2019

Cleary Gottlieb and The Legal Aid Society, and New York Attorney General Letitia James and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez filed two separate lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to halt Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from making civil immigration arrests in and around New York State courthouses.

Cleary partnered with The Legal Aid Society to file one of the suits, which seeks a permanent injunction ordering the halt of ICE courthouse enforcement on behalf of an individual plaintiff — a noncitizen domestic violence survivor who needed to appear in court for an order of protection, but feared the risk of an ICE arrest coming to a courthouse. Other plaintiffs include Make the Road New York, Urban Justice Center, Sanctuary for Families, The Door, and the New York Immigration Coalition.

Cleary partner Jonathan Blackman said, “ICE’s policy of arresting noncitizens at New York State courthouses has impeded effective access to justice in our communities. Immigrants are reluctant to exercise their rights to obtain relief through our judicial system due to justified fears that ICE will arrest them on their way into or out of a courthouse. This lawsuit challenges ICE’s unlawful use of its enforcement authority and seeks to restore equal access to our courts for all New Yorkers.”

Read the full announcement here.