The head of the Philadelphia Bar Association is calling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement a “police state” and telling its lawyers and judges to keep ICE agents out of its courthouses.
The call comes as a resistance effort against ICE working courthouses to make arrests intended to deport criminal illegal immigrants.
“Such actions are hauntingly reminiscent of those of a police state, calling to mind the actions of a secret or state police,” Bar Chancellor A. Michael Snyder, a retired judge, told The Washington Times.
“We call upon law enforcement agencies, local governments, and court administration to prevent the access of ICE agents into courthouses, and to act to protect the rights of individuals lawfully within those facilities from harassment or arrest by ICE agents, whether uniformed or not.
ICE argues courthouse arrests are a necessary function because the illegal immigrants are known to be unarmed, having gone through court security.
Sanctuary city defenders say the ICE arrests at courthouses would ultimately deter illegal immigrants from showing up to court.