The Chief Justice of New Jersey's Supreme Court is urging the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to stop arresting immigrants in courthouses.
In a letter to the Homeland Security Secretary, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner is raising concerns about the recent arrests of two unauthorized immigrants who showed up for appearances in state court.
When individuals fear they'll be arrested for a civil immigration violation when they set foot in a courthouse, Rabner says witnesses to violent crimes may stay away and remain silent.
He says victims of domestic violent and other offenses may choose not to testify against their attackers and defendants in state criminal matters may simply not appear.
Rabner says the justice system must have the public's confidence and wants courthouses added to the list of sensitive locations such as schools and houses of worship that bar immigration enforcement actions.