Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johonson said he was ‘surprised’ to discover that courthouses are not considered to be a “sensitive location” where immigration enforcement actions are largely not allowed.
Wednesday more than 50 lawmakers sent a letter to Johnson calling on DHS to add courthouses to the list of “sensitive locations,” like schools, hospitals and houses of worship where immigration officers can not carry out immigration enforcement actions except in exigent circumstances.
During questioning from New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) Johnson said that he had received the letter and was surprised to learn that courthouses were not on the list.
“I was a little surprised to find out that courthouses are not on the list of what we consider to be sensitive locations. You know there is a separate policy dealing with courthouses that ICE has My view is that, as you articulated, courthouses are special. We ought to have a special policy with regard to courthouses,” Johnson said.
The caveat, the DHS secretary continued is that in certain circumstances a really dangerous criminal might need to apprehended be at a courthouse, “I would support that.”
“This is an issue that I intend to look at more closely,” Johnson concluded.