As a result of the increased enforcement of immigration laws, ICE agents have taken to showing up at courthouses in areas with large immigrant communities. They will wait there and take in people who do not have status or have other immigration-related issues, such as having committed a crime that would render them removable from the U.S. This has caused significant issues for undocumented individuals, causing them to fear reporting crimes, filing for custody of children if they have a U.S. Citizen spouse, reporting domestic violence, etc.
New Jersey has taken the “Do Not Let ICE In” policy, meaning courthouses are not permitted to allow ICE to use the courthouses as arrest locations, and ICE officers can’t scope out courthouses looking for people.
The increased presence of ICE agents has become a serious problem – and it’s important that a person who is not documented have immigration counsel with them when they are charged with crimes (to ensure they get correct advise as to the immigration consequences of a plea), have family or domestic issues, or are the victims of crimes themselves.