Judge bars ICE from courthouse, ICE threatens judge with arrest

By WND Staff

Many states, counties and cities have become self-declared “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens, forbidding local law-enforcement officers from cooperating with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Now, a judge in Salem, Oregon, has banned ICE from making arrests in courthouses.

ICE has responded, insisting its officers will continue to carry out their duties and will “consider carefully whether to refer those who obstruct our enforcement efforts for criminal prosecution.”

So would a judge’s order banning ICE arrests in her courthouses constitute “obstruction” that could be prosecuted criminally.

The nation might find out.

Law Enforcement Today reports Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters on Thursday mandated that civil arrests in state courthouses are no longer allowed, unless the arresting agency has a judicial arrest warrant.

ICE spokeswoman Tanya Roman said her agency “will continue to carry out its mission to uphold public safety and enforce immigration law, and consider carefully whether to refer those who obstruct our lawful enforcement efforts for criminal prosecution.”

Law Enforcement Today said “it means that anyone who obstructs federal law enforcement could be charged with crimes.”

There already have been conflicts, Law Enforcement Today reported.

“In one incident in July of this year, agents had pepper-sprayed family members of Fabian Alberto Zamora-Rodriguez, a suspected illegal alien who was charged with sexual offenses involving minors, who hindering agents from detaining him at a courthouse in Astoria, Oregon,” the report said.

ACLU spokesman Katherine McDowell said judges need to ensure “that everyone can seek justice in our courts.”

And Walters had been asked by members of the state’s Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee to impose the ban.

Roman said that if local law enforcement would cooperate, there would be fewer problems. But since they are not, ICE “agents are forced to go to the courthouses in order to enact their duties,” the report said.

ACLU lawyer Leland Baxter-Neal said it’s the enforcement that could cause concern.

But ICE officials, in a statement, said there’s nothing unclear.

“ICE ERO officers have been provided broad at-large arrest authority by Congress and may lawfully arrest removable aliens in courthouses, which is often necessitated by local policies that prevent law enforcement from cooperating with ICE efforts to arrange for a safe and orderly transfer of custody in the setting of a state or county prison or jail and put political rhetoric before public safety,” the statement said.

The federal agency said it’s “ironic that elected officials want to see policies in place to keep ICE out of courthouses, while caring little for laws enacted by Congress to keep criminal aliens out of our country.”

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