SANTA ROSA (Up News Info SF) – At least three people were arrested on Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Services agents outside the Sonoma County Superior Court, said the Sonoma County District Attorney's office.
Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick confirmed that the sheriff's office received a call around 7:45 a.m. about a visit by ICE agents to the court.
"The Sheriff's Office did not collaborate with National Security agents in these arrests in court and has strict policies regarding any coordination with ICE," Essick said.
District Attorney Jill Ravitch, public defender Kathleen Pozzi and county attorney Bruce Goldstein condemned the actions of ICE agents in a statement. Ravitch opposed ICE making arrests in and around the courts, which "accessed the judicial system to seek justice."
"ICE's detention actions do not take place in the court building, where they have the effect of driving away witnesses and victims, and undermines the ability of the District Attorney's Office to hold those responsible guilty and protect the victims of crimes, "Ravitch previously said in a letter to former United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions and National Security Secretary John Kelly.
After that letter, the former interim director of ICE, Thomas D. Homan, responded to Ravitch and said that ICE would continue with the specific enforcement actions in the courts. Homan said "the courts are not sensitive locations according to ICE policy."
Pozzi said such ICE operations "have no place,quot; in the court building. "The public should know that the application of ICE affects everyone, including witnesses, victims and those who go to court for non-serious crimes," said Pozzi.
Pozzi said both sides are at a disadvantage when a defendant cannot answer the charges, and said he can demand quick trials for detainees, which can result in the dismissal of pending criminal cases.
"The actions of ICE are illegal because their actions are carried out without court orders and violate the recently passed state law that prohibits civil arrests in court. Instead of protecting our community, these immigration arrests undermine our justice system. , ”Said Goldstein County attorney.