The New York State Senate may vote on the Protect Our Courts Act before it adjourns this week. The bill would prevent ICE from arresting people for civil immigration violations while the immigrant is entering, leaving, or inside a state court unless the ICE agents have a judicial warrant or court order. The legislation was proposed to counter growing abuses by ICE at courts around New York and throughout the country. ICE has arrested immigrants at family courts, the Queens human trafficking court, and at traffic courts. This has discouraged immigrants from using the courts to resolve civil matters and from attending court when summoned.
This year, the New York Immigration Coalition made passage of the Protect Our Courts Act a major goal.
According to the Immigrant Defense Project:
The bill includes several enforcement measures. It empowers judges to hold any person who violates the law in contempt of court. It also instructs the New York Attorney General to pursue legal action on behalf of individuals who are arrested in violation of this law. In addition, the bill recognizes that individuals have a right to pursue legal claims when they are arrested.
Please call the Long Island Six today and ask them to vote “Yes” on this bill.
Here is how to contact them:
Senator Todd Kaminsky (516) 766-8383 Albany 518-455-3401
Senator Kevin Thomas (516) 739-1700 Albany (518) 455-3260
Senator John Brooks (516) 882-0630 Albany 518-455-2765
Senator Monica Martinez (631) 360-3356 Albany (518) 455-2950
Senator Anna Kaplan (516) 746-5924 Albany (518) 455-2170
Senator Jim Gaughran (516) 922-1811 (518) 455-3250
You can get more info on the bill here.