California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye is not happy with federal immigration authorities and their pursuit of illegal immigrants in the Golden State's courthouses.
In fact, the judge is so “not happy,” that she fired off an open letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Thursday, asking that agents stop “stalking undocumented immigrants” immediately, as reported by NBC News.
Cantil-Sakauye suggested that “safe” and “fair” “equal access to justice” is being compromised, writing in part:
"As Chief Justice of California responsible for the safe and fair delivery of justice in our state, 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.
Our courthouses serve as a vital forum for ensuring access to justice and protecting public safety. Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.
Enforcement policies that include stalking courthouses and arresting undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom pose no risk to public safety, are neither safe nor fair. They not only compromise our core value of fairness but they undermine the judiciary's ability to provide equal access to justice."
Virginia Kite, a spokesperson for ICE's western regional office, admitted to NBC that agents do follow the practice, but only after other methods have been attempted. She said:
“While ICE does arrest targets at courthouses, generally it’s only after investigating officers have exhausted other options.”
It's about to get worse — or better — depending on one's point of view.
Criticism of President Trump's commitment to more aggressively pursue suspected illegals was further heightened earlier this month when Kelly told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he would “do almost anything," including separating mothers and children who cross the border illegally.
"Yes, I am considering it in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network. I am considering exactly that. They will be well cared for as we deal with their parents.”
Kelly said that HHS does a “very, very good job” of putting “unaccompanied children in foster care,” or linking them to parents or other family members in the United States.