Washington, DC - House Democrats from the the states of Oregon, New York, and Virginia introduced legislation last week to expand pre-existing ICE guidelines for 'sensitive areas' and make them law.
If the law, known as the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act, is passed, the current guidelines that ICE uses to determine 'sensitive areas' would become law.
The proposed law should be known as the Protecting Criminals Act. The bill would prohibit ICE agents from conducting arrests, interviews, searches or surveillance at these areas, which include schools, hospitals, places of worship, funerals or weddings and public rallies, according to The Washington Post.
The bill would expand these areas to include bus stops with children, offices for public assistance and members of Congress, and, most prominently, all federal, state and local courthouses.
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) said "Our communities are better and safer if all residents feel secure when accessing justice, seeking education and health care, or practicing their faith."
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, a Republican, actually said this: “I am deeply concerned about reports from some of our trial courts that immigration agents appear to be stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests."
She followed up those remarks with with a letter in mid-March to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly criticizing ICE for using courthouses for "bait.".
In response, the Attorney General and the Homeland Security Secretary sharply answered her and said:
“As the chief judicial officer of the State of California, your characterization of federal law enforcement officers is particularly troubling. As you are aware, stalking has a specific legal meaning in American law, which describes criminal activity involving repetitive following or harassment of the victim with intent to produce fear of harm. The arrest of people in a public place based upon probable cause has long been held by the United States Supreme Court as constitutionally permissible.”
These politicians need to realize that the idea that all immigrants are hard-working honest people is not accurate. Some of these people are violent or career criminals, and law enforcement does not need their hands tied when they are trying to protect society.
This law is only about protecting criminals by prohibiting law enforcement from enforcing the laws. This attitude somehow makes it the fault of law enforcement when criminals are caught breaking the law. If criminals don't want to be arrested in "sensitive areas" then maybe they should obey the law.