Courthouse ICE arrest sparks executive order

Written by on March 4, 2020

Courthouse ICE arrest sparks executive order

By Jim Deegan

March 4, 2020

Northampton County’s Executive has issued an order that prohibits the arrest of undocumented immigrants without a warrant.

The order came just one day after a video surfaced on Facebook of an ICE agent taking a man into custody in a courthouse hallway.

The video was captured as the man’s attorney challenged the agent to show a warrant.

Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure’s order requires that ICE agents have a warrant signed by a federal judge before taking someone into custody.

It also mandates that, for people who are in the country illegally, the county will only hold the for 48 hours after their case is resolved. And only if the county is in physical possession of an ICE form known as a detainer.

“We don’t want to interfere with the federal government’s ability to enforce our national immigration laws. That is their responsibility, and we think it’s an important responsibility they have. But we also want folks who are involved, even undocumented folks who are involved in the judicial process in Northampton County to have basic due process rights,” says McClure.

Easton Attorney Joshua Fulmer represents the undocumented man. He says his client has been in the country for several years, pays taxes and works and is married to a U.S. citizen.

He had an application for a green card for lawful status pending. He literally just had to resolve the case which we were there to do that day, be interviewed by Homeland Security, and he would have then had lawful status, he would have had to wait two years, and he would have been able to apply for citizenship,” says Fulmer.

Fulmer says his 32-year-old client was in court to work out a plea deal for a two-year-old DUI – the only blemish on his record since coming to the U.S. as a teen.

Fulmer says his client is at York County Prison, and lawyers are working to secure his release.

ICE said yesterday [Tuesday] that it’s not required to obtain a criminal judicial warrant to take custody of an immigrant on civil immigration violations.


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