By Ed Diokno
Views from the Edge
In A letter, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye expressed her deep concern “about reports from some of our trial courts that immigration agents appear to be stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests.”
The letter asked Homeland Security and the Attorney General to cease the practice.
“Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws,” Cantil-Sakauye wrote Thursday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. “[E]nforcement policies that include stalking courthouses and arresting undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom pose no risk to public safety, are neither safe nor fair.”
Reports from attorneys up and down the state, from the urban centers to the Central Valley, are telling the Chief Justice that since January, ICE agents are arresting immigrants when they show up at courthouses, according to the Huffington Post.
Cantil-Sakauye’s Filipina mother was a farmworker, and her Hawaiian-born Filipino Portuguese father, worked in sugar cane and pineapple plantations before moving to Sacramento.
She is the 28th Chief Justice of the State of California. She was sworn into office on January 3, 2011 by then Gov. Arnold Swarzenegger. She is the first Filipina American and Asian American and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice.
Since Trump has taken office, border control officers and ICE agents have been more aggressive in going after people who have no documentation. In some instances, the agents have arrested people inside the courtroom.
“Enforcement policies that include stalking courthouses and arresting undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom pose no risk to public safety, are neither safe nor fair,” reads the letter. “They not only compromise our core value of fairness but they undermine the judiciary’s ability to provide equal access to justice.”
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