Be careful the next time you go to court. Even though you may think you are there to have your rights defended, you may just have them taken away. A Somali man was arrested Thursday in a Portland courthouse. 28 year old Abdi Ali was in court to plead guilty to a misdemeanor crime when he was promptly detained for deportation.
This occurrence is not unusual under the Trump Administration. ICE officials have been waiting for immigrants to come to court rooms so as to detain and deport them. This sets a dangerous precedent for the future. Immigrants are essentially being told that they should not come to court to seek help. Four battered women in Denver dropped their cases, because they feared that showing up in court could lead them to be the next deportation.
VERDICT: These women were seeking safe haven from abusive relationships, and now they must also fear being deported when they should be focusing on finding safety. This is a disturbing trend coming out of the White House, one that we can only hope gets challenged in the future.
Technically, the First Amendment right to "petition the government for a redress of grievances," or having the right to claim you've been wronged, is a vital liberty to any citizen, and that extends to immigrants as well. But until this does get challenged, immigrants must take caution when thinking about going to a court.