Groups Want Judges to Stop Courthouse Immigration Arrests

Courtesy of

BOSTON (AP) — Civil rights and indigent defense groups are asking Massachusetts’ highest court to stop federal authorities from arresting immigrants targeted for deportation at courthouses.

The petition was filed Thursday in the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of immigrants who are too afraid to enter state and local courthouses out of fear of being deported.

It seeks an order to block agents from arresting people in courthouses for civil immigration violations.

The challenge comes amid what attorneys say is an uptick in courthouse arrests under President Donald Trump that has roiled advocates, attorneys and judges nationwide.

Federal immigration officials in January formalized their policy to send agents to courthouses to make arrests. They say they’re targeting convicted criminals, gang members, public safety threats and immigrants who have been previously deported or ordered to leave.

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