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AGs Center Immigration Brief on States Rights

Attorneys General from around the country are banding together to stop federal agents from arresting illegal immigrants at state courthouses. In an amicus brief filed in Seattle, they say that a federal policy of invading courtrooms to apprehend undocumented immigrants violates state sovereignty. The AG there is asking a district court judge to stop the practice, made official policy in 2017 by US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, which deters the undocumented from accessing the court system and needed government services. In Illinois, the use of sworn translators in adminstrative proceedings has fallen by 25 percent since 2015.

Kwame Raoul, the Illinois AG, and 13 of his peers signed the brief that’s aimed at ICE Directive 11072.1, which has seen ICE, Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security agents make dozens of arrests in courts around the country. Citing Common Law prohibitions on courthouse arrests that date to 15th century England, the brief says the policy violates judiciary integrity. The brief echoes outgoing state Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier’s view that limiting avenues for redress has detrimental impact on health, welfare and public safety, with judges around the state and around the country also pushing back.