Governor Cuomo Signs the ‘Protect Our Courts’ Act

New York City courts have been facing a lot of tension recently. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been performing arrests without warrants on undocumented immigrants traveling to and from NYC courts. This has caused a great amount of fear for immigrants who need to attend court. Additionally, it has caused a lot of tension between judges and ICE agents. In fact, Fox News has stated that “in 2019, ICE made 173 arrests at state courthouses, much higher than the 28 made in 2016.” As a result, Governor Cuomo has signed the Protect Our Courts Act (POCA). Read on to learn more about the new Act and what it will entail.

What Does the Act Do?

This Act will make it unlawful for any law enforcement officer to arrest a person for a civil violation while that person is going to, attending, or leaving court. It is important to note that arrests can still be made with a judicial warrant and court-ordered authorization.

Who is Protected Under the Act?

According to www.immigrantdefenseproject.org, “the law will protect any person who is a party or potential witness in a court proceeding in New York state. This includes victims, witnesses, defendants, and anyone who is part of a non-criminal proceeding such as a family or housing court matter. It will also protect any family or household members who are part of a court proceeding or potential witnesses.”

How Will it be Enforced?

The Act empowers judges to hold any person who violates the law in contempt of court. Additionally, it instructs the New York Attorney General to pursue legal action on behalf of anyone whose rights are violated under the new Act. www.immigrantdefenseproject.org, further explains that “the Office of Court Administration will designate attorneys to review any judicial warrants or court orders presented before allowing non-local law enforcement (including ICE) to enter a courthouse in order to make a civil arrest. The bill also requires that the court document any warrants or court orders presented to its staff.”

What if my Rights Are Violated Under POCA are Violated?

If your rights are violated under this new Act, you will need to contact a skilled New York City immigration attorney. Reach out to our firm today to discuss your case. We are here to fight for you.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Protect Our Courts Act and how it may affect you, reach out to our firm today to discuss.

Contact Our New York City Immigration Lawyers

Our law firm can explain all the opportunities associated with fiancé visas and help you through the entire procedure, as well as discuss whether this is a good option. For an initial consultation with a skilled immigration lawyer, contact the Law Office of Cheryl R. David in New York.