The Trump administration has made homeless shelters and courthouses targets of ICE raids
Recently a video has been circulating, shot on Denver city courthouse steps that shows ICE agents stationed, waiting to arrest, detain, and possibly deport illegal immigrants near the civic building. While their presence lets the public know that the Trump administration is serious about its objective to tackle the issue of illegal immigration, their presence has another sobering effect.
Here’s the recent video, taken in mid-February:
Stemming from the ICE presence and all the implications that come with it, immigrants, both legal and illegal, are dropping court cases and charges for fear of harassment or arrest by the stationed agents. According to Denver city attorney Kristen Bronson, who spoke to NPR, four women who were pressing charges related to “physical and violent assault” had dropped their complaints, citing a fear of deportation upon arriving at the courthouse.
She said, We had pending cases that we were prosecuting on their behalf and since January 25, the date of the president’s executive order [on immigration], those four women have let our office know they were not willing to proceed with the case for fear that they would be spotted in the courthouse and deported.”
According to Jezebel, such behavior by the ICE is not without precedent, as an illegal resident in El Paso was arrested at a courthouse due to her status, just minutes after receiving an order of protection against an abusive husband.
What’s perhaps most troubling and draconian about the presence of ICE agents at the courthouse isn’t their ruthlessness in arresting illegal immigrants, but the incidental effect of effectively withholding access to social services like courts and law enforcement for those same people, forcing them to remain silent in the face of injustice and crime, which, documented or not, is a fate that no American should face.