It’s no surprise that ICE has been stepping up their enforcement
under the new administration. Increasingly, ICE is targeting immigrants
who are in the process of going through a court hearing, regardless of
whether they have been convicted of a crime. To do so, ICE has begun arresting
immigrants at courthouses and in the immigrants’ own homes. Recently,
two of our clients were arrested in similar actions. We’re ready
to fight for them and ensure that they receive the fair treatment they deserve.
On April 3, 2018, Alejandro Martinez was arrested by ICE agents on the
steps of the criminal courthouse at 100 Centre St. in Manhattan. This
arrest came after an unsuccessful attempt by ICE officials to arrest Mr.
Martinez in his own home. Mr. Martinez had appeared in court to answer
to a misdemeanor charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth
Degree filed by the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
The charge had been made due to a detective noticing that Mr. Martinez
had a gravity knife clipped to his belt while Mr. Martinez was replenishing
a parking meter. According to Mr. Martinez’s employer, the New York
Department Store, the knife was a critical tool for Mr. Martinez in the
course of his duties there.
Prior to being arrested on April 3, Mr. Martinez hat retained our firm
to serve as private counsel. His concern for being wanted by ICE proved
to be true, and he was arrested after leaving a hearing in which he and
his attorney had led for a reduced charge.
Upon receiving news of his arrest, our team set to work to have his criminal
charges dismissed. The case was advanced to April 13, 2018, and our attorneys
successfully persuaded the New York District Attorney to dismiss Mr. Martinez’s
charges in the name of justice. Mr. Martinez, however, still remains in
ICE custody, despite having been cleared of his charges.
Our team is hopeful about the possibility of a Cancellation of Removal
for Mr. Martinez. With his unblemished criminal record, long-time common-law
relationship with his wife, who is a legal resident of the US, and his
history as a taxpayer, Mr. Martinez is in good stead to have his deportation
action stopped. In addition to these factors, Mr. Martinez is also the
father of a US citizen with special needs, and should be there for his child.
A second client, Armando York, was arrested in his home, pending criminal
charges for a Felony drug possession case. He has retained our firm’s
counsel for both his criminal and immigration hearings. We are working
hard to ensure that both Mr. York’s and Mr. Martinez’s rights
are recognized and that they are returned to their families quickly.
We are disturbed that ICE agents are relying on this tactic to arrest immigrants.
Policing immigration at criminal courts causes immigrants to be afraid
to appear in court. This can result in warrants for their arrest, making
matters worse. Additionally, immigrants who are victims of criminal activity
may feel unsafe attending court to witness against those who have harmed
them, making it more difficult for prosecutors to serve justice.
At The Portela Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to seeing that our clients’
voices are heard. We will fight for your rights to ensure that you are
protected. Our New York
criminal attorneys understand your needs. Don’t be afraid to reach out for
free consultation to discuss your case today. We offer our services in Spanish, as well.
Contact our firm by calling (212) 577-9312.