NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Public defenders on Friday staged a walkout in the Bronx in protest of immigration officials arresting their clients in the courthouse.
As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, the walkout was the public defenders’ way of saying, “No more.”
“Yesterday was a particularly egregious pickup. It was a client who had no prior convictions. He had been in this country since he was 3 years old and he was arrested on the way to lunch,” said Rosa Cohen Cruz of the public defender’s office.
Cohen Cruz said the arrests have a chilling effect on the justice system.
“We really are asking the chief judge to prohibit (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) from entering our courthouses and make this a safe space for clients, so that immigrant New Yorkers, who have the same constitutional rights as all New Yorkers, can contribute to rely on the judicial system to protect those rights,” she said.