Local and national news outlets were flooded with cries for help and citizen outrage when a woman was detained in the elevator of a Texas courthouse. The act, however, could give way to a new border policy that Trump has been working on, which may mean court-house arrests of immigrants becomes a regular thing.
About the Incident
In February 2017, Juan Coronilla-Guerrero appeared in an Austin, Texas court for a routine hearing regarding misdemeanor charges. During the trial, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested him. The charges he faced in the Austin courthouse were minor, but not only had he been previously deported from the country and was now here illegally, he was also facing assault and drug charges.
The federal officials felt that arresting him within the courthouse was the safest and easiest way to obtain him.
Another instance in February in an El Paso County courthouse went from a normal hearing on domestic abuse to a woman being arrested. The woman was seeking a protective order against the boyfriend who had been abusing her. She was a citizen of Mexico and was living in El Paso. She was taken to the courthouse by members of a victim’s advocate group but left under arrest by ICE agents.
Attorneys representing the woman and those witnessing the event were shocked and outraged at the behavior of ICE agents. More than a dozen officers were there to arrest a single, unarmed woman. The woman had a previous deportation on her record, but she did not have any outstanding state warrants at the time of her arrest in the El Paso courthouse.
It was not the county’s policy to ask the woman about her citizenship status; therefore, they did not know that she was an illegal immigrant. They see that all women and victims have a right to protections, regardless if they are immigrants or citizens.
President Trump Furthers His Promises of Border Protection
While community members are outraged at the event, and some state that allowing ICE officials into a courthouse to arrest people ultimately harms public safety, President Trump feels otherwise.
President Trump has been working to make good on his strict policies regarding immigration, and since taking office, Trump has already threatened cutting off funding to known sanctuary cities that offer homes and shelter to immigrants.
The process for the Mexican border wall is also underway, with some areas receiving temporary fencing.
The policies in place have already led to several deportations of individuals from Arizona and states near the Mexico-America border. Also, the administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program arrested and detained immigrants and claimed that they were gang members.
With President Trump making good on his campaign promises, illegal immigrants and their support groups within the country are starting to speak with outrage. They state that actions like this (arresting one in a courthouse) are only going to create fear for victims of real crimes. Across the country, groups for relaxed immigration enforcement have started working on ways to block ICE enforcement and helping immigrants who are about to be arrested.