ACLU Sues Feds over ICE Arrests in Oregon Courthouses

ICE agents making immigration arrest. AP File Photo
AP File Photo

The American Civil Liberties Union in Oregon filed a lawsuit against the federal government this past week challenging the presence of immigration deportation officers at courthouses in the state.

Breitbart Texas reported on February 2 that the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a directive ordering ICE officers to target criminal aliens appearing in courthouses.

U.S. Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan signed the order on January 10.

Director Homan wrote in the directive to law enforcement officials:

Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials routinely engage in enforcement activity in courthouses throughout the country because many individuals appearing in courthouses for one matter are wanted for unrelated criminal or civil violations.

Homan continued, “ICE’s enforcement activities in these same courthouses are wholly consistent with longstanding law enforcement practices, nationwide.”

“And, courthouse arrests are often necessitated by the unwillingness of jurisdictions to cooperate with ICE in the transfer of custody of aliens from their prisons and jails,” the ICE acting director added. Homan says the refusal by local police officials in sanctuary jurisdictions to comply with detainers endangers ICE officers and the community.

The policy is seen by some as a move against sanctuary jurisdictions where officers cannot pick up illegal aliens within the safe confines of a jail.

The ACLU, in the sanctuary state of Oregon, filed a federal lawsuit and asked that ICE officials be required to disclose how many immigrants have been questioned by immigration officers at or near Oregon’s state courthouses, reported The Oregonian. The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking records back to January 2017, just before President Trump took office on January 20.

The lawsuit also asks the judge to order ICE to reveal any policies about who is being targeted, any policy about wearing plainclothes, and policies about agents answering questions or refusing to identify themselves to those who they are detaining, reported the media organization based in Portland.

An ICE spokeswoman declined to comment about whether the agency was engaging in racial profiling because of the litigation; however, she said that ICE agents “uphold our laws while continuing to provide our nation with safety and security.”

An Oregon congresswoman became angry in 2017 when ICE officers questioned a man outside an Washington County Courthouse, Breitbart Texas reported.

U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) demanded answers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials after officers stopped a man on September 18 in the Washington County, Oregon, courthouse and asked him for his identification, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from the congresswoman’s office. When the officers learned the man was a U.S. citizen and not the suspect they were searching for, they went on with their business and did not detain the man she identified as Isidro Andrade-Tafolla.

In another case in Oregon this week, the ACLU successfully forced a university hospital to reverse its policy on denying transplant services to illegal immigrants. As reported by Breitbart Texas, the ACLU in Oregon is now pushing for hospitals in that state to change their policies of requiring proof of lawful presence for transplant services.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGab, and Facebook.


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