Sun | May 31, 2020

ICE agents arrest Jamaican man in Connecticut, sparks protest

Published:Wednesday | September 18, 2019 | 1:51 PM
Eric Cruz Lopez of Bridgeport, Connecticut speaking during a rally on September 17, 2019 - CTPost photo,

The arrest of a Jamaican man by immigration officers in Connecticut as he left a courthouse sparked a protest by concerned residents about the action of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The CTPost reports that the Jamaican man had just been arraigned on drug charges Monday and was leaving the Golden Hill Street courthouse when two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents converged on him on the courthouse steps and arrested him.

On Tuesday, more than two dozen people, carrying signs that read, “No human being is illegal,” and “Stop deportations, sanctuary city now,” picketed in front of the courthouse.

“We need to keep ICE out of the courthouses,” said Ana Maria Rivera of the Connecticut Immigrants Rights Alliance.

“The state is allowing ICE to go into the state courthouses without any oversight.”

Many of the protesters accused judicial marshals, who stood watching the protest from the courthouse steps, of aiding immigration agents to detain undocumented immigrants.

But Donald Murphy, director of state marshal services, said that’s not true.

“They (marshals) don’t help ICE at all and only get involved if the situation becomes a safety issue in the courthouse,” Murphy said.

He said ICE, like any other law enforcement agency, can come into state courthouses to serve legal detainers or arrest warrants.

“Oftentimes we don’t know they are in the courthouse,” he added.

Since the beginning of the year, a number of undocumented immigrants have been arrested by ICE as they either left or were about to enter the courthouse, according to CTPost.

Recently, one man left his shoes outside the Golden Hill Street courthouse and fled down Golden Hill Street in an effort to evade ICE agents.

Police Chief Armando Perez previously said that his officers will not actively assist ICE agents in arrests but Mayor Joseph Ganim has refused to designate Bridgeport as a sanctuary city.

“ICE is a rogue and violent organization that relies on state and local resources to execute their deportation agenda,” said Carolina Bortolleto of MaketheRoadCT.

“Courthouse arrests have become hunting ground for ICE officers who routinely stalk and violently arrest members of our community who are attending court.”

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