Liberals were outraged that ICE agents in court houses would prevent witnesses from testifying. Commissioner O’Neill says that’s not the case.
During a press conference, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill hit back against claims from that illegal immigrants in New York City would not go to court houses because they fear they will be arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
ICE agents have more authority under President Trump than they did under the previous administration.
A reporter asked O’Neill if he is getting the sense that illegal immigrants are being scared away from testifying in courts because of the possibility of ICE agents showing up at court houses and arresting them.
The Daily Beast reported on the concerns the reporter was asking O’Neill about in May:
“In New York City, immigrants are increasingly worried about going to court, concerned that plainclothes ICE agents will arrest them there. According to attorneys and advocates, newly emboldened Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have dramatically increased their presence in courthouses, which has left many immigrants—including U.S. citizens and people with green cards—deeply concerned about going to court, sometimes opting to skip hearings out of fear of arrest.”
“You know from all the community outreach we do across the city we’re not getting that sense in New York City,” O’Neill responded.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been a vocal critic of Trump’s immigration policy, was sitting next to O’Neill during the press conference.
Rosemary Boeglin, a spokeswoman for de Blasio, told the New York Daily News in March that ICE agents in court houses “might discourage victims from coming forward, or even defendants from showing up for their court date, could undermine public safety for all of us.”
It seems that de Blasio’s concerns about ICE agents in court houses threatening public safety for all New York City residents may not be a valid concern after all.
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