Attorney General Frosh joins multi-state coalition fighting to halt immigration arrests at state courthouses

BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Friday joined a coalition of 14 attorneys general to halt federal immigration arrests of non-citizens without a judicial warrant or court order in and around state courthouses throughout the nation.

In an amicus brief filed in “State of Washington v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; et al.”, the coalition argues in support of Washington State’s request for a preliminary injunction to immediately halt such arrests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“When ICE is arresting people at courthouses, it impedes law enforcement,” claimed Attorney General Frosh. “Victims and witnesses are afraid to come forward if they think they will be deported, and criminals can get a free pass by preying upon non-citizens.”

Last month, the Washington State Attorney General sued ICE, the CBP, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), among others, arguing that the federal government’s policy and practice of arresting non-citizens-both undocumented and those with legal status-at or around state courthouses violated the Administrative Procedure Act, the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the right of access to courts, which is protected by the First, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Washington filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to immediately halt the Trump administration’s policies.

The amicus brief filed on Friday supports Washington’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. In the brief, the coalition argues that the federal government’s arrest practice is common across the states that are a party to the brief and are in violation of a common law privilege against civil arrests at courthouses. The amicus further claims that the federal government’s practice of conducting civil immigration arrests is harmful to the effective functioning of U.S. court systems.

In filing Friday’s brief, Maryland joins the attorneys general of Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

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