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Nov 05, 2013

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), security contractors frisk Honduran immigration detainees (AFP Photo / John Moore)

RT

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrest people when they appear in court to pay traffic tickets, get married, or make themselves known in other ways, violating Department of Homeland Security policy, according to civil liberties advocates.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote a letter to the Homeland Security Department pressing officials to end the policy of “abusive arrests” employed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The document asserts that such apprehensions are in direct violation of ICE’s alleged policy forbidding officers from making arrests at “sensitive locations,” a list including hospitals, schools, and places of worship.

The ACLU asked ICE, the investigative unit in the Department of Homeland Security, to add courthouses to the list of sensitive locations, claiming sudden ICE raids are “causing significant harm in the Kern County,” California community, as quoted by Courthouse News.

The arrests have prevented residents from complying with their obligations to pay citations and appear for court hearings, and from obtaining restraining orders, marriage licenses and other essential court services,” wrote ACLU attorney Michael Kaufman. “Moreover, ICE’s actions have created a culture of fear, deterring residents from exercising their constitutional right and civic duty to appear for court hearings or seek court services.”

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