Immigration enforcement has been especially brazen under the Trump administration. As part of a larger “mass deportation agenda,” and in retaliation against localities taking measures to protect immigrants, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have significantly increased their presence at courthouses. As a result, ICE arrests at courthouses, or “courthouse arrests,” have instilled fear in immigrant communities and chilled participation in the legal system. While these arrests have had far-reaching impacts, preventing survivors and witnesses from accessing the court to seek relief, the focus of this Note is on the particular impact on noncitizen defendants involved in criminal proceedings. Increasingly, ICE will arrest noncitizens in the courthouse who are attempting to appear for arraignments, warrants, or important hearings in their cases. Following an ICE arrest, these noncitizens are often detained or deported, preventing them from continuing in their criminal cases and likely resulting in additional criminal sanctions for missing required court dates. This Note explores the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial and presents a constitutional challenge to courthouse arrests based on the notion that these arrests prevent noncitizen defendants from accessing the courts, and therefore, meaningfully accessing their right to a jury trial.
ICE-d out of Court: Courthouse Arrests and the Sixth Amendment Right to a Jury Trial for Noncitizen Defendants,
U.C. Irvine L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.uci.edu/ucilr/vol11/iss3/10