Prieto backs Rabner in telling ICE to cease making arrests at courthouses

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Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) is on the same page as state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in telling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cease making arrests at courthouses. Vincent Prieto

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I commend Chief Justice Rabner for speaking out on this emergent tactic in the interest of protecting our communities and fostering a safer environment for families,” Prieto said in a statement.

“Studies have consistently shown that this type of hardline approach is counterproductive because it promotes fear and dissuades undocumented immigrants from coming forward to report crimes or to assist the criminal justice system.”

Earlier today, Rabner penned a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that said “courthouses must be viewed as a safe forum” and ICE actions inside courthouses “would produce the opposite results.”

“Undocumented immigrants are routinely marginalized in many ways, but they should never have to feel unsafe merely for reporting or speaking out against crimes and injustices. Their cooperation is just as crucial as any other segment of the population in promoting a safer, more civil society.”

Prieto concluded that he hopes the federal government adds courts to the list of “sensitive locations” recognized by ICE.

As only Hudson County View reported, ICE arrested a man in West New York after a municipal court appearance last month.