ICE Drops Case After Courthouse Arrest

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In July, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials arrested a woman and her 16-year-old son at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, leaving her 2-year-old child behind in the court’s day care center as they took her into custody and placed her in deportation proceedings. This woman, Maria, and her son are survivors of domestic violence who were appearing for a hearing in their case.

The arrest became part of a national dialogue on how ICE activity in courthouses negatively impacts public safety and the ability for crime victims, especially victims of domestic violence, to seek justice.

In November, the Charlotte Immigration Court terminated her deportation case with the support of ICE, allowing Maria and her family to remain in the U.S. as they pursue a U-Visa, which provides protected status to victims of crime. The victory came after months of negotiation with ICE by the partnership of Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Comunidad Colectiva and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

While the outcome was a win for immigrant victims of domestic violence across the country, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy realizes that it does not fully address the issue of ICE activity in courts and expects to continue fighting on behalf of victims for a more just system in 2019.

Media Coverage:

“Mother and son turned up for a domestic-violence case. Then ICE arrested them.” Charlotte Observer

“ICE Detained Charlotte Mother, Son At Courthouse” WCCB Charlotte

“Charlotte community leaders speak out against ‘injustices’ committed by ICE” Fox 46

“Mom Separated from Toddler After ICE Arrest Inside Mecklenburg Co. Courthouse” Spectrum News

“ICE Arrested a Woman & Her Son When They Went to Court for a Domestic Violence Hearing” Bustle

“Immigration Agents Arrested An Undocumented Mom and Her Teenage Son Involved in Domestic Violence Case” BuzzFeed News

“ICE Arrest At Domestic Violence Hearing Raises Concerns of a Chilling Effect” WFAE

“Mother And Son Involved In Domestic Violence Case Are At Risk Of Being Deported” NPR “All Things Considered”

“Domestic Abusers Have an Ally in the Trump Era. It’s ICE” Huffington Post

“Inmigración arresta a madre mientras tramitaba su caso de violencia doméstica en corte” La Noticia

“Venn Diagram of B.S.” Hysteria Podcast (23:00)

“Immigration crackdown makes women afraid to testify against abusers, experts warn” NBC Nightly News

“Deportation of Domestic Violence Survivor Halted After ICE Arrest at Courthouse” Charlotte Observer