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LAS Calls on Cuomo to Sign Protect Our Courts Act

The Legal Aid Society and immigration advocates are pressing Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law the Protect Our Courts Act – new legislation barring ICE agents from conducting surprise arrests at New York courthouses without a warrant. The bill was passed by the Democratically-controlled Assembly and Senate on Wednesday.

The bill has gathered support after innumerable incidents of ICE agents apprehending undocumented immigrants at New York courts – including 225 arrests in New York City alone – leading to calls from public defenders to protect New Yorkers’ right to their day in court regardless of immigration status, reports Gothamist.

“At a moment of national reckoning around law enforcement’s abuse of power and role in society, this historic passage of the Protect Our Courts Act sends a clear message that New York State will not tolerate fear-inducing tactics,” said Hasan Shafiqullah, Attorney-in-Charge of the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society.